Senior leader all time in assists and touchdowns
By Kyle LoJacono
It would be an understatement to say Wiregrass Ranch senior James Tringali knows how to set up others to succeed.
Tringali entered this year already as the Bulls leader in passing touchdowns as the starting quarterback and also the all-time leader in assists as a guard on the basketball squad.
“I never really thought of it like that,” Tringali said of leading in both statistics. “It is kind of fun to think of all the time my passes have set someone else up to score. I’ve been lucky to have great teammates in football and basketball to make that happen.”
Tringali became the Wiregrass Ranch starting quarterback halfway through his freshman season. Statistics were not kept as well before Jeremy Shobe became the Bulls football coach in 2008, but Tringali has recorded 3,219 passing yards on 277 completions and 23 touchdowns since then, all program records. He has also added 458 rushing yards and another five scores.
“He’s been very consistent for us and has gotten better each year,” Shobe said. “He’s always gone out and worked as hard as anyone I’ve coached. James is a very competitive person and always wants to be the best. He strives to win. He’s fought his way up.”
Tringali’s play helped guide Wiregrass Ranch to its first district championship in football as a senior and the first winning season in program history (6-5).
“It wasn’t always easy for him,” Shobe said. “Two years ago we had another kid challenge him for the starting spot. His name is (Jonathon) Economou and he got into several games. When James was on the sidelines, he was the perfect teammate. He didn’t put his head down or start feeling sorry for himself. He used it as fuel to get better and I’m proud of him for how he handled that.”
Economou transferred to Freedom High, where he just completed his junior season.
On the basketball court, Tringali has 361 career assists, far and away better than anyone else
in the school’s first five years. His passing has helped the Bulls complete the regular season with an 18-7 record.
He is not limited to playing point guard on the hard court, recording 640 career points, 401 rebounds and 133 steals.
“He’s been very versatile for us over the years,” said Bulls boys basketball coach Jeremy Calzone. “He mainly plays in the backcourt, but moves all over depending on the game.”
One player who has benefited from Tringali’s passing in both sports is senior Antwan Prince. The two connected for 598 yards on 37 completions and five touchdowns in 2010; more than any other Bulls combination. However, in basketball Prince sets up Tringali to score just as often because the two rotate playing point guard.
“It’s kind of fun when you think about it,” Tringali said of Prince setting him up to score in basketball. “In football we did our thing with me getting him the ball, but now he’ll get me the ball just as much. It’s really fun.”
Tringali has enjoyed his time on the field and in the gym, but says the sports could not be more different.
“There are a lot more eyes on you in football,” Tringali said. “A lot more things can happen. Basketball is more of a flow game. You kind of let everything else dictate what you do. You go where the game takes you. In football, as the quarterback, you set the pace and control everything.”
Tringali was a Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) honorable mention for football this season. His basketball goals are to get back to first-team all SAC like last season while leading Pasco County in assists and getting the basketball team its first district championship.
Tringali has received interest from several colleges to play quarterback, including Brown University and Davidson College.
“He’ll be playing on the next level for sure,” Shobe said. “He has the talent and desire and is one of the smartest kids in the school.”
Tringali is currently ranked 71st out of 407 seniors at Wiregrass Ranch with a 3.91 weighted grade point average. He also has 117 community service hours.
“I’ve loved everything about going to Wiregrass Ranch,” Tringali said. “I’ve loved helping build the athletics, but I’ve always understood that education comes first. That’s why we’re student athletes.”
The Bulls next play in the Class 4A-District 8 district tournament at Nature Coast against River Ridge High at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
-All stats as recorded to Maxpreps.com by coaches.