Trivette adding to Carson-Newman winning tradition

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com


  
JEFFERSON CITY -- He's a winner in a winning college football program.
   Carson-Newman wide receiver and former Elizabethton High standout Steven Trivette has been successful on and off the field for the Eagles.
   On the field, Trivette has been one of the go-to-receivers on a team that is ranked No. 3 in Division II football.
   Off the field, he leads by example and is one of the most humble young men you would ever want to meet.
   Trivette's 2002 season has included a back injury that set him back a little bit. But according to Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks, Trivette is used to adversity.
   "He's been the real deal," Sparks said. "He had to deal with his father passing away a couple of years ago, but he keeps on growing. His playing time hasn't been over-abundant, but he keeps hanging in there. He's a team leader."
   Trivette says he has gotten over the injury, and is glad to be back.
   "I got hurt at the beginning of the season," Trivette said after Carson-Newman's 48-23 victory over Tusculum on Saturday. "I was out for one game, and then I came back. I'm back and I'm full speed now, so everything is good."
   Trivette couldn't wait to get back. He's been part of what has been a magical year on Mossy Creek.
   With Carson-Newman's surprisingly easy win over top-20 Tusculum on Saturday, the Eagles improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the always tough South Atlantic Conference.
   To put the Eagles season in perspective, Carson-Newman throttled Mars Hill 45-0. Division I-AA East Tennessee State defeated the same team by a score of 20-10.
   "This is a special season, and this is a special team," Trivette said. "We've got our eyes focused on what we want and our goals. We're looking forward to having some wins, and maybe getting a national championship."
   Trivette and the Eagles definitely worked hard to turn things around after what was considered a bad year for Carson-Newman football. The Eagles failed to make the playoffs, which is a rare occurrence at the school.
   "We had an off season last year," Trivette said. "We lost a few games by a couple of points. We're looking to improve on those for sure. But we're keeping focused on what we want to get done this year, and this is just a special team with a lot of great guys."
   The players that are now at his former high school can relate to what the Eagles went through last season. The Elizabethton Cyclones suffered a heartbreaking loss to Sullivan Central Thursday night, and are in danger of not hosting a first-round playoff game for the first time in a decade.
   Trivette has some advice for the Cyclones.
   "When I look back at our senior year, when we made it to the semifinals of the playoffs, we had a real tough loss against Greeneville,"he said. "You've got to keep your head up, and don't get down. Just focus on your goals, and don't get down after the loss."
   The Cyclone players can learn a lot from Trivette. He definitely knows how to handle tough situations, no matter how big or how small.
   Sparks knows why Trivette handles himself so well.
   "Steven has a personal relationship with the Lord," Sparks said. "He's a great influence on the team."
   Trivette says that playing for a school like Carson-Newman, which is a baptist college, helps keeps things in perspective.
   "It's nice to play for a program that the No. 1 focus all the time is God," Trivette said. "God is the No. 1 focus always. We give all the glory to God."
   With Trivette being a well-known hard worker and a young man with his priorities in the right place, look for even bigger things out of him in the future.
   And if you're a young kid out there looking for a role model, look no further than Steven Trivette.