- Grove City, Pennsylvania


November 7, 2012

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Reynolds coach Pacifico shows there's more to sports than winning

OPINION — I DON’T KNOW Reynolds coach Jerry Pacifico on a personal basis, but based off of a brief five-minute post-game interview, I can tell he’s one of the best coaches in Mercer County.

This has nothing to do with X’s or O’s or Pacifico helping turn around a Raider program that managed just six victories in five years before winning six in 2012 alone.

That’s a great accomplishment and one that should be lauded, but instead, I’m talking about a man that truly cares about his players.

After Pacifico’s Raiders held off Mercer 27-14 Friday night, I waited nearly 10 minutes to get Pacifico’s post-game comments while he embraced each of his seniors and offered words of encouragement to his sobbing players, who had just played in their final game as Reynolds Raider.

It’s entirely possible he shed a tear or 30 himself.

To quote Jerry Seinfield, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Pacifico’s post-game actions seem to be a rarity in high school sports these days. Many coaches walk off the field or court after talking to the entire team instead of inviting their seniors to a post-game ‘huddle’ and ‘man hug.’

I get it.

I truly do.

Sports are a manly-man arena and hugs are considered not masculine, but so much emotion goes into it why not cry when you lose? You should be devastated.

But, I digress.

I honestly don’t remember seeing a coach take time out to hug and thank his seniors for all they’ve done for the program – I’m not saying it doesn’t happen just that I haven’t seen it as often as I should – and I’m no newbie to the world of high school athletics.

I’ve been covering high school and local college sports for nearly 16 years now and have been to way too many senior nights – or final playoff games – to count.

The kinds of displays Pacifico showcased Friday night don’t happen frequently.

To me, that shows just how deeply Pacifico cares about his players – especially ones that won’t help him win a game next year.

I understand other coaches may invite each player into his or her office in the days following a season-ending loss to have a similar interaction, but it’s not in the heat of the moment.

I also get that the coaches also publicly thank them for their efforts when media members like myself cover the game, but how often does that happen?

In this situation and situations like it, actions speak louder than words.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning how much or how little other coaches care about their players, because you don’t coach high school athletics to get rich.

That much I know for sure.

Just like I know showing your players how much you care will create memories those players won’t soon forget.

Agree, Disagree or just want to comment contact Corey at

Text Only
  • SRU Hall inductee Wise set for SRU Hall

    SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Former Grove City High athletic great Tom Wise has been selected as a 2014 inductee to the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame.
    Wise was former three-time All-American and three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion track and field student-athlete at Slippery Rock.
    As a Rock student-athlete, Wise claimed a fourth-place finish and two sixth-place honors in decathlon competitions at NCAA Division II national championships.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Western Pa.'s Zeigler scores big

    LAST FRIDAY, I headed west to Attica Raceway Park for the FAST “410” Sprint Cars and UMP Late Model “Summer Nationals Hell Tour” along with the first appearance by the UMP (E) Mods.  A great field of 37 Late Models, 28 Sprints, and 23 E-Mods were on hand along with a packed house.  Overcast conditions made for a fast 1/3-mile track that provided great racing all night long. 
    Craig Mintz picked up the win the last time I was at Attica on June 6, but shortly thereafter suffered a back injury that kept him out of action for a month.  On Friday night, Mintz returned and led every lap of the 30-lap Sprint Car feature for his season’s third win.  The Gibsonburg, Ohio driver’s victory was worth $3,000 and had to hold off a last lap slide job by Christopher Bell. 

    July 27, 2014

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Up and down week for Sodeman

    LAST FRIDAY I headed south to add I-77 Raceway Park to my track attended list, which made for 162nd track all-time.  I-77 is located south of Ripley, West Virginia just off Interstate 77.  This season, I-77 moved from the crowded Saturday night line-up to Friday night racing and teamed up with Ohio Valley Speedway.  I-77 normally runs Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, E-Mods, Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Mini Stocks.  With the Sprint Cars on the schedule, I decided to make the trip and they were joined by the Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, and E-Mods.

    July 21, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide