If you’re a follower of Euless Trinity football, it’s coined the “Sipi Tau.”
It’s a dance meant to honor the Tongan culture and has become a pre-game tradition at Trojan football games over the past few decades. Credit, though, cannot be taken by the Euless Trinity football teams of the early to mid 2000’s, as its lineage dates as far back in their heritage as one can remember, originally tabbed the Haka.
But it made its way to Euless through Steve Lineweaver, the Trojans’ head coach from 2000-2014, and has been a mainstay in Trinity’s pregame activities ever since. Lineweaver remembers its origin as something the team would do symbolically to get ready for battle.
“The first time we did it, a lot of us thought that we were going to make a fool of ourselves, so we did it in the end zone and kept it just within ourselves,” he said. “But it became more popular so we moved it to midfield.”
Whatever they wanted to call it or wherever the Trojans performed it, it had some magic to it.
Lineweaver coached the Trojans to three state titles in his 15 years at the helm of the Trinity football program. Add those three to his state championship as head coach at Commerce in 1999 and the two he helped bring home as the offensive coordinator at Southlake Carroll High School in 1988 and 1992, and it’s easy to see why Lineweaver will be inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame on May 6 in Waco.
The dance may not be exactly like the original, but it symbolized a coaching philosophy that Lineweaver instilled into his teams throughout his years as a high school football coach.
“I used to have fun with people and say ‘look, it’s just Polynesian tongue that simply says — two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar, all for the Trojans stand up and holler,’” Lineweaver said. “We bended it into basically a meaning of getting ready for battle. I got your back, you got mine. Let’s do this together.
“We changed a few of the movements to make it our original Euless Trinity Sipi Tau.”
Though his time at Trinity was thick with memories, Lineweaver remembers one such occasion that touched him in a way he never thought possible.
“After we won the state championship in 2005 and got through hugging babies and kissing girlfriends, I had a player come and ask me if we were going to pray,” he said. “He began the prayer by saying ‘Dear Lord, help us use this championship to serve others.’”
It was clearly a case of an 18 year old being ahead of his time, but the prayer worked.
Lineweaver received a call a few weeks later from the director of a youth prison in Dallas stating one of his inmates saw the Trojans’ Sipi Tau dance before their state championship game and wanted to reach out to Lineweaver and his players.
“I gathered the guys up and told them I got a call (from the prison) and every one of my players got on that bus and did the dance for them and loved on them,” Lineweaver said. “I had a player stand up and tell those kids, ‘You guys are no different from us, you just made some mistakes and keep your head up and we love ya.’ It’s things like that as an old coach that you really remember.”