by Chris Edwards
Colmesneil ISD recently welcomed onboard a new athletic director, Edd Trotter. Trotter is no stranger to Tyler County, however, and is anticipating great things during the coming school year for Bulldog athletics, as well as looking forward to getting moved into the community with his wife, Leigh Ann and two sons, Brady, 11, and Logan, 8.
"Getting here as late as I did, I've been swarmed by a lot of stuff," Trotter said. "We're trying to sell our house in Lufkin and looking for some land in Colmesneil. Tyler County has always been like my second home. My wife (formerly Leigh Ann Neal) is from Warren and I've been coming to this area for the past fifteen years."
Trotter's wife is also joining the Bulldog athletics staff as head girls' basketball coach. Trotter will be at the helm for the coming football season and along with his duties as AD and head football coach, he will also coach powerlifting, boys track and will assist during baseball season.
Trotter was born and raised in the Nacogdoches area in Central Heights. "Being a preacher's kid we moved around a lot," he said. "I'm a Teneha grad, class of '88, so I'm a small school guy." Trotter received his bachelor's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and later earned an M.A. from Walden University. During his coaching career, he has served the West Sabine, Shelbyville and Huntington districts. He has spent the last seven years at Diboll ISD, where he coached the Lumberjack teams as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach, where he coached his teams in several successful seasons.
As a coach, Trotter said he wants to motivate his players to do their best, but also to realize that there are life lessons to be learned from playing sports. "I want them to have fun and to realize that wins and losses to not define a person," he said. "I want them to be able to look in a mirror when they're done and be comfortable with their achievements on the field."
With football season fast approaching, Trotter is inheriting a program that saw the Bulldogs chalk up a 10-2 overall season in 2013. "I'm not changing anything offensively, or as far as the terminology goes," he said. "I want to keep our strategy to where [the players] understand it."
Trotter said the main difference in his coaching approach is how the defensive game is handled. "It'll be different than the split defense they ran last year," he said. "I'm not the kind of guy to go in and blitz every day. The main thing I want the kids to be able to do is to play the game of football and have fun."
"I want them to be able to walk out into the world and say 'I enjoyed my time playing sports at Colmesneil ISD'." Trotter said that high school athletic programs are really the chance for student athletes to shine, because, as he noted the majority of athletes don't get the chance to play past their high school careers.
Above all else, Trotter hopes to instill a strong work ethic into his players. "Work ethic goes with everything we do. Whether you are in business or building houses at a construction site, if you have no work ethic, you're not going anywhere," he said.
Trotter said he is still getting acclimated to his new position, but also making sure his athletes are getting used to his presence on the field and in the weight room as well as his methods.
"They're getting used to the way I do things," he said.
As Trotter gets more used to working in Bulldog country, he hopes to put down some roots in Colmesneil or nearby. "I really want some land," he said. "So my two boys will have room to hit baseballs around and play some football."