Despite not qualifying for the playoffs, Jerry North accomplished one of the main goals he set when he was named head coach of the Poughkeepsie High School football team.
That goal was to restore “Pioneer pride.” Even after losing 13-7 to visiting Goshen Friday, North’s team experienced a turnaround this year. The Pioneers came together and exchanged hugs after the loss.
“Obviously there are a lot of broken hearts,” said North, whose team finished the regular season 4-4. “But we weren’t blaming each other.”
The Pioneers will receive a bowl game next week, though North doesn’t know who his team is facing just yet.
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“We’re going to come back, find out who we play next week,” North said. “It’ll be a bowl game, and hopefully we go out on top.”
Malik Lewis caught a 60-yard touchdown pass by Troy Schoonmaker for the Pioneers’ lone score against Goshen. North also praised the play of Marcus Blocker and Isaiah Williams.
“Marcus had a really good game. Isaiah Williams was good on both sides, both offensively and defensively. He had some good catches,” North added.
Before Friday, the Pioneers had a string of three late-game victories. The turnaround, he said, was a product of positive attitudes among his players.
“They really began to do the little things; began to make sure they were doing everything properly and buying into what we’re doing,” North said. “They became better at life and have the attitude of not quitting when you’re down and out.”
A.J. Martelli: [email protected], 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports