After his team’s convincing win last Friday, Frederick High School football coach Kevin Pirri is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.
Pirri and host Greg Swatek chat about how far the program has come in the coach’s seven years on the job. They discuss some of the players who have helped raise expectations and change the culture of the program, such as Chris Metevia and Travon Neal, and they also discuss what’s ahead for the Cadets this season.
Later in the conversation, Pirri shares why he binged on chocolate milk to boost his power-lifting endeavors.
Assistant sports editor John Cannon also stops by to talk about the opening week of the high school football season and what lies ahead for the first busy week of the fall sports season.
The podcast is available at fnppodcasts.com.
Here’s an excerpt from their conversation:
Swatek: Is this the best team you’ve had at Frederick High so far?
Pirri: Yeah. All around. There’s a couple spots, like if we had just a little bit more football IQ in some specific positions that would kind of answer all of our questions, but we’re getting there.
Swatek: How have expectations changed? What do you guys talk about as a group in terms of setting goals and stuff now that you guys have gotten to this point?
Pirri: So our expectation is, I mean, starting out my career here at first, it was ‘Win, win win.’
Swatek: Just win a game, right?
Pirri: Yeah, and I learned very quickly, you had to kind of cut it down to smaller battles. So we’ve kind of expanded upon that. We take their smaller battles, and we still focus on their smaller battles, and now they just amount more. And we raise those battles to be higher expectations. And instead of just getting to your man, it’s now you need to successfully block that man. And now you need to bury him and get to the next level. And now you need to hit your gap, but you need to hit that cutback as well. So, it’s an individual position group approach. ... Their expectations grow so much, and we hope it hits the scoreboard the right way.
Swatek: So everything’s more advanced now now than it was. You guys are five to 10 steps ahead of where you were a few years ago.
Pirri: We looked at some of the teams on film, and even looking at our JV, we’re like, ‘Man that team is where we were five years ago.’ Even I look back when I was [in my] first year and looking at the talent we had and the schemes that we had, I was like, ‘Man, I didn’t have any talent like we have now.’ There were some talented kids that came through the program, but nothing like the the complete program that we have right now.
Swatek: Does it feel gratifying for you that you’ve taken the program from barely being able to win a game to where you guys are now?
Pirri: Yeah, and I’m still young. I still have a lot more winning that I want to accomplish. So I’m still not fully satisfied yet. But it does feel a lot better that the team is more prepared to take those higher challenges.