All-Area: Aycock's Pitt is defensive player of the year
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 19, 2009 11:09 PM
Tyheim Pitt can turn it on like flipping a switch, going from mild-mannered and soft-spoken to intense and hard-hitting within a matter of seconds.
Years of learning and analyzing the game of football allowed Pitt to become a great student of the gridiron. Fueled by a desire no one else possessed, he brought intensity to the field each Friday evening.
For his efforts, Pitt is the 2009 News-Argus All-Area Defensive Player of the Year.
"I have to thank all my teammates because without those guys our season would not have been possible," said Pitt. "You have to trust the guy playing next to you every down, and I think a lot of our success was built on that trust."
The Golden Falcons finished the season 10-3 overall and reached the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A (small-school) football playoffs.
Pitt's defensive unit allowed just 10 points per game and set the tone for the team's no-nonsense style of play.
And there is no doubt that Pitt was the catalyst.
"Having Tyheim on the field is like having another coach out there that just happens to be a great player," said Golden Falcons head coach Randy Pinkowski. "I tell recruiters and other coaches all the time that you can not evaluate Tyheim until you see him on the field, and you talk to him during a game."
Pitt logged 83 tackles, recovered two fumbles and made all the defensive calls on the field from his inside linebacker spot. Allowing a player to make team adjustments was the result of a unique trust built between a coach and his best tackler.
"It took time, but after spending three years watching Tyheim in practice I felt comfortable allowing him to make certain calls," said Pinkowski. "He is a great student of the game and he has an incredibly analytical mind. Which is one of the things we have in common."
At just a shade under six feet tall and 190 pounds, Pitt's emergence in the weight room and his commitment to the program quickly endeared him to his Golden Falcon teammates. As a three-year starter, Pitt grew from a sophomore in the background to a senior in the limelight.
He also took over the team's role of emotional leader.
"Sometimes when you are dealing with young guys you have to step up, raise your voice and get their attention," said Pitt. "I know that I didn't always listen like I should have and coach would raise his voice and reign me back in. You need someone to keep everyone focused."
A physically imposing player, Pitt's hard work in the offseason is what he hopes will carry over to the next level. Described by Pinkowski as a "workaholic," Pitt puts in hours in the Golden Falcon strength room, plays on the school's basketball team and excels in the classroom.
The latter is a point of specific pride.
"I would love to go on and play football at the next level, and to get that opportunity," Pitt said. "But my focus is on getting a quality education, first and foremost. Athletics have to always come second."
Pitt admitted that he has not made a college choice quite yet, but he plans to weigh his options in the spring and decide. If his high school career is any indication, a fortunate institution may be getting a diamond in the rough.
Not to mention a leader on the field.