Pitt talks, team listens
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 19, 2009 1:46 PM
Spend five minutes talking to Tyheim Pitt and you're instantly motivated to become a better person. Strap on a helmet and shoulder pads with him and you're immediately inspired to accomplish great things on a football field.
Charles B. Aycock's senior linebacker and fullback, Pitt also plays the all important role of emotional leader. He isn't shy about expecting a lot out of his teammates but he never fails to back it up with his actions.
Pitt has recorded a team-high 75 tackles and has turned in his best performances of the season against the Golden Falcons' toughest competition. He made 14 stops with first place in the conference on the line at South Johnston and tallied a team-best seven tackles in last week's playoff victory at Orange.
Pitt is also second on the team in rushing with over 500 yards and 12 touchdowns.
"I know to be better than the next team, you have to work harder than the next team," said Pitt. "If your team doesn't listen, then it doesn't show that you're a good vocal leader. I have to give credit to the guys, they listen well. I tell the guys all the time they're going to get what they give and they have to go hard on every down."
A three-year varsity starter, Pitt shares a special bond with head coach Randy Pinkowski. Pinkowski relays all the defensive play-calls from the sideline to his veteran linebacker and spends countless hours with Pitt in his office breaking down game film.
That relationship stretches well past football and takes on a father-son tone, while allowing Pinkowski to completely trust Pitt's decision making on the field.
"Tyheim and I share a lot of common threads through our lives and my growing up and his growing up," said Pinkowski. "Tyheim is never satisfied with just knowing what his responsibility is. He wants to get a little more in-depth with why are you doing this? He talks a lot about wanting to be a coach one day. It's unusual to find a young man with that kind of desire for that kind of understanding.
"Tyheim has the full defensive playbook at his disposal as far as check-offs are concerned when I throw him out there."
Pitt endured through a 3-7 season two years ago and a 4-7 finish last year. Aycock began this season 7-0 and a week ago the Golden Falcons won their first playoff game since 2006.
Pinkowski called up Pitt from the junior varsity squad for that playoff victory three years ago. Pitt also fondly remembers the sting of losing in the second round.
A pair of losing seasons coupled with the haunting memories of that playoff loss have made this season particularly special for Pitt. The harsh reality that each game could now be in his last in an Aycock uniform has created a sense of urgency in without question one of the better players Pikeville has called its own in quite some time.
"It's very special to have this type of season as a senior," said Pitt. "A lot of seniors don't get to experience this type of stuff. I tell the guys now it's win or go home. We have to be focused going into the playoffs. If we're not that's it for me as an Aycock player and I don't want it to end right now."
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