Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

There's more to Mitchell RB Trinidad than nice moves

When the line gives Mitchell RB Ricky Trinidad an opening, he’s going to take it. “I see the holes well,” the junior says.

ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES | Special to Times

When the line gives Mitchell RB Ricky Trinidad an opening, he’s going to take it. “I see the holes well,” the junior says.

TRINITY — Mitchell running back Ricky Trinidad might very well lead the North Suncoast this fall in eye-opening runs, but where most are taken aback by his electrifying moves, those who share the huddle with him aren't.

"Not anymore," Mustangs offensive lineman Ryan Brosnan said.

Having played alongside Trinidad the past few seasons, and in Brosnan's case since they were kids, Trinidad's teammates have seen it all — from his 80-yard bursts to his shakes and spins.

"I've never played with one better," Brosnan said. "All you have to do is open up a little hole, and he finds it."

This season, the line has opened many. And the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Trinidad, a junior, has done the rest.

Entering Friday night's Class 3A, District 7 showdown at home against Land O'Lakes, a game in which the winner clinches a playoff spot, Trinidad has rushed for 1,192 yards — a total that leads Pasco County by a wide margin. He also ranks first in rushing touchdowns with 15.

Now consider this:

Trinidad has done his damage on only 143 carries; he averages 8.3 yards a rush.

"I don't see solo tackles on Ricky," said Hudson coach Mark Nash. "It would take a man to tackle him solo. If you don't get 11 hats on him, he's going to make you pay."

The key to Trinidad's success is no great mystery. It's that he does everything rather well.

"I'm pretty versatile," Trinidad said.

That's an understatement.

For starters, he is faster than most of those trying to tackle him. Last spring, he was a member of Mitchell's 4x400 conference champion relay squad in addition to being a standout in the 200 meters (he was a second-team all-county pick).

"He has elite speed," Nash said.

And even better moves, one could argue.

"I've never seen a running back that can cut as fast as he can and accelerate from 0 to 60 as fast as he can," Mitchell coach Brian Wachtel said. "He runs with a passion."

Vision is another Trinidad trait. "I see the holes well," he said.

Then there's his toughness.

People talk about his touchdown runs, but Trinidad takes just as much pride in the fact he always fights for extra yards, feet and even inches. His legs don't stop churning until the play is over.

"People say I'm not that physical," Trinidad said. "They think I'm just a speed back. They think if I get hit, I'm going to fold."

Trinidad's greatest assets, however, might not be of the physical nature, but his work ethic and desire to win. In the weight room, Trinidad has committed to getting stronger. In his free time, he runs alone. For meals, he often chugs a protein shake.

Last week, a minor back injury sidelined Trinidad against Pasco, which went on to win the district. He didn't dress for the game (Mitchell's only loss), but at halftime approached his coach and begged to let him put on a uniform and play, if only to give his teammates an emotional lift.

His request was denied, but the message was clear.

"He's a special player," Wachtel said.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at

There's more to Mitchell RB Trinidad than nice moves 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 7:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.