Pushing past the threshold
There’s a threshold that a bad team must cross over to become a good team, there’s a final threshold that a good team must pass through to become great.
This road is paved with good teams that must be beaten in order for a new program to emerge as a force to be reckoned with.
At this point, first year Pilot Point head coach Danny David is working on taking his players over that first threshold.
It’s easy to defeat lesser talented teams like Callisburg or Howe, but if the Bearcats want to bring back the glory days of the 80s, perennial giants like Pottsboro have to fall in order for Pilot Point to rise.
Against unbeaten Whitesboro last Friday, Pilot Point turned the ball over on two key drives in the second half, resulting in a 21-12 loss at home.
Two turnovers that winning teams don’t make.
Not to mention two Whitesboro scores that stemmed from an offside and a blown assignment from sophomore corner Jacob Pitts.
Two more mistakes that good teams don’t make.
David, who won two state championships for Pilot Point as a player, said the transformation from a bad team to a good team is simple – step up and make plays in the moment of truth.
“Somebody’s going to have to make plays in crucial situations,” David said. “I think based on what happened last year these kids might not be confident in themselves and when we get behind a “here we go again” takes over.”
The Bearcats went 2-3 in district and finished 2-8 overall under former head coach Rob Best last year.
David is starting the rebuild from the lower levels of the program, instilling a sense of winning with the seventh and eighth graders and the junior varsity.
“Right now our eighth graders have only lost one game,” David said. “Our JV is 5-2. Winning solves everything. Once they start seeing success, it becomes contagious. The more success we have, the more excited these kids are coming to work each day.
“It won’t come overnight, but I think we’re headed in the right direction. With the kind of preseason schedule they’ve had, our varsity kids never quit in one game. These are young men of high character. Some people want to play just to be a part of something, but these guys want to win, these guys want to put a state championship ring on their finger.”
David said his team would be ready to cross the threshold once players start holding each other accountable, not coaches.
“Right now the coaches are holding these players accountable and I think that’s the making of a good team,” David said. “We’ll be a great team once these players start holding each other accountable. That’s what happened on the great teams I’ve been a part of.”
Pilot Point will travel to Pottsboro Friday night to try to slay the biggest dragon in District 5-3A, the Pottsboro Cardinals led by D-1 commit Hunter Watson.
The winner of this game will be the team that makes winning plays and the loser, well, I think you know the answer to that.
Joshua Okeke covers sports for The Post-Signal