Suter Kegg writes about the 1975 season with Steve Trimble and Lyle Peck


J. Suter Kegg's - Tapping the Keg
Cumberland Evening Times - November 25, 1975

DON'T LET THOSE 32 touchdowns and 200 points for the season fool you. Steven Garfield Trimble is not perfect. He can make mistakes. Being human, he is capable of fumbling. Matter of fact, he did fumble once this year. But only once - and that is astounding when considered he carried the ball from scrimmage an even 300 times during Fort Hill High School's 12-0 season.

That fumble came in the fourth quarter of the state semi-finals two Saturdays ago against Northwood and it upset the Sentinel sprinter. "We were driving on Northwood and when I was going through a hole in the line someone yanked my arm and the ball popped loose." explained the young speed demon who rewrote the Cumberrland record book this year.

But Trimble didn't have too much time to think about the miscue. He was too busy concentrating on his defensive duties in the secondary. Besides, he'll be remembered better for what he did later in that game - scoring the winning touchdown in the second overtime stanza.

And that's another thing! Trimble, defending state hurdle champion, has the ability to score from any spot on the field but of his 32 touchdowns, the one that gave him his greatest thrill came from only a foot away. That was what the Sentinels needed to get the ball across the goal on fourth down to send them into the state finals last Saturday against Frederick Douglass.

Big Lyle Peck, a virtual beacon all season long for Trimble, led the way. His six-foot-four, 210-pound frame cleared the path and Steve shot through the opening for the sudden-death TD.

Peck, who refers to the 5-11, 180-pound Trimble as "My main man," enjoyed his role as blocking back even though the glory went to Trimble. "It really didn't make any difference to me," says Peck. "I know Steve is a better runner than I am and I think I got more satisfaction out of the coach (Charley Lattimer) telling me I made a good block."

In discussing the big overtime TD against Northwood, Peck said he got orders from the bench to "Get number 9!" That happened to be the outside linebacker. Peck got him with no trouble, plus a Northwood lineman for good measure, and Trimble, as Lyle puts it, "slipped through sideways. I was on the ground when he went in and all I could think about then was that we won. I got up and gave Steve a big bear hug."

Trimble, a phlegmatic performer in a sport known for its emotion, merely smiles when Peck relates the details of Steve's "greatest thrill." Trimble is shy, almost to the point of being stone faced, but wears his honors well. He is unselfish, softspoken and extremely well mannered.

BREAKING A CITY touchdown (23) record set 27 years ago by Allegany's Earle (Lefty) Bruce doesn't seem to mean much to Trimble. At least, not on the surface. But inside of him, he admits, there is a warm feeling about it all.

"The record is fine but the state championship and the 12-0 season we had as a team mean more," confesses Steve. Judging by the serious manner in which he expresses the sentiments, you have to accept them.

"Ever since I started to play football (he began his career with the VFW Patriots of the Cumberland Area Youth League as a fifth grader), I've wanted to be on a state championship team." he says. "This is a dream come true for me and even if I hadn't scored a point, I would have been thrilled to be on a team that won all 12 of its games."

Trimble's poise under pressure has meant much in making him a star. This, plus his God-given talents as a runner. Ed Dawson, veteran assistant coach at Fort Hill, likes to think of Steve as the O.J. Simpson of high school football. "He runs like O.J., accelerates like O.J., breaks the big play when you need it and is cool under fire," says Dawson.

Steve denies that he has tried to copy Simpson's running style although he admits that "O.J. is probably my favorite player."

Trimble, who appears to be a sure bet for All-State, confides the honor would be nice, "but I haven't thought much about it. Besides, a lot of guys on this team belong on it."

In the opinion of the "PT '75" duo (Peck and Trimble), the team's esprit de corps played a major role in Fort Hill's record-breaking success of 12-0. "We're all friends and hang close together," notes Trimble. "We all believe in helping each other."

The turnabout of Trimble as a non-fumbler in 1975 has been almost unbelievable. Last year, for instance, he was benched on occasion by Lattimer for coughing up the ball. "I really can't explain it," Steve said. "I think I might have kept both hands on the ball a little longer this year and I guess that means I was concentrating more." It wasn't until he broke into the open that he became a one-armed carrier.

It will be some time before it is known whether or not the PT combo will be broken up. Peck admits he would like to continue his football career at the University of Maryland next fall but Trimble isn't sure. Right now, he prefers not going to a big school even though Maryland, Penn State and West Virginia are among the "football factories" that have eyes for him.

Regardless of what schools they pick, each will probably wind up in the same positions they played at Fort Hill. Peck, who should become even bigger and stronger, appears to have the ideal physique for a college fullback or linebacker. The personable big guy just loves hitting people on the football field.

But Peck doesn't step out remembering only blocking and tackling as his highlights at Fort Hill. He won't forget that 92-yard run he made in the state championship game last Saturday at Oxon Hill. That's probably the second-longest run from scrimmage in the history of football at Fort Hill and prior to that Penn Avenue High. The longest was the 95-yarder by Mark Manges against Beall at Frostburg.

"I liked that," smiled Peck. "Metz (Bruce) and Bierman (Mark) threw good blocks to get me open. I felt someone behind me at midfield (it was Eddie Bunting who trailed by only three yards) and I thought I better turn it on."

And turn it on he did! He was 20 yards ahead of Bunting when he crossed the goal. After putting the ball down, Bunting came into the end zone and stuck out his hand. "He said to me, 'Nice run,' and I told him, 'Thanks, man!'"