‘This means everything to me’ — Reynolds ready to lead Edgewood football program

TRENTON — Trace Reynolds is back home, and he’s ready to get to work. 

The 2015 Edgewood High School graduate was officially school board approved to be the Cougars’ new head football coach earlier this week.

“It’s a great opportunity. It’s a great program,” Reynolds said. “I was a player in it, so I’m really fired up.

“This means everything to me. The way that I’m going to coach and the way that I’m going to carry myself is because of how important this is to me. I want the kids to know that how honored and grateful I am to have this position.”

This is the first head coaching job for Reynolds, and he’ll take over for Scott Clemmons — who coached 12 seasons and compiled a 74-55 overall record.

“Edgewood is such a rich tradition-based program,” Reynolds said. ”I’m excited to come in and keep the tradition and roots of Edgewood football — because that should never go away. That’s what makes it even more special for me is being able to come up through the program and learn those values when I was in kindergarten and play all through it to when I graduated.”

Clemmons, a longtime Trenton resident and 1994 Edgewood graduate, assumed the full-time role of athletic director for the school district. The Cougars went 4-7 in his final season in 2023.

Reynolds was the starting quarterback in 2013 and 2014 under Clemmons at Edgewood. He earned all-region and all-conference honors during his senior season in 2014.

“Coach Clemmons established a great culture and tradition at Edgewood football,” Reynolds said. “I was lucky enough to be a part of it. The biggest thing is that I want this program to stand on the shoulders of great coaches and great players that came before our current guys.”

Reynolds went on to play four seasons at Heidelberg, an NCAA Division III school. He was an all-conference selection and a team captain his senior year.

“I used the values of Edgewood football even after I graduated from here to kind of shape my career and coaching at the college level,” Reynolds said. “Those values have never changed.”

After graduating from Heidelberg, Reynolds served as a graduate coaching assistant for the running backs and tight ends at Heidelberg from 2019-2021.

He left Heidelberg to be an assistant coach for the tight ends and fullbacks at the University of Findlay during the 2022 season before returning to Heidelberg in 2023 to be the quarterbacks coach.

Reynolds said the expectations that he plans to set for the program remain the same as in the Cougars’ storied past.

“Super physical and doing things right,” Reynolds said. “We’re not going to do the easy thing. We’re going to do the right thing for us. I firmly believe it’s not what we do, it’s how we do it. Everybody’s going to play football in the fall. What is our brand? What does Edgewood football look like? We want to keep those same traditions and those values in our program.

“Our goal is to put together a hard-nosed, blue-collar mentality football team that this town deserves. This program has been that. We want to build off that. The roots are never going to change. Edgewood football is Edgewood football. That’s what we believe in.”

Reynolds said it’s too early to tell exactly what his coaching staff and game-play schemes could look like. But he’s certain the Cougars’ performance will mirror the type of talent that’s on the field.

“The most important thing is establishing the way we go about doing things,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in player formations plays. It doesn’t matter what we run. I want to talk about what we expect from our Edgewood football players. What does he look like in the community? What does he look like in the classroom?

“We’re going to work on building our guys into great young men, and that will correlate onto the football field once we get closer to fall.”

The 27-year-old Reynolds recently moved from Tiffin to Middletown, but he said the plan is to eventually come back to the Trenton area.

Edgewood opens the 2024 season on Friday, Aug. 23 at Milford.

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