Park View's Andy Hill has been doing things his own way since officially taking over the program in the spring. The first-time head coach says he's grateful for the foundation that Coach Charlie Pierce, now at Briar Woods, left behind, particularly for the winning tradition that Pierce's staff instilled.
But don't mistake that for thinking anything at Park View is status quo.
Hill is putting his own unique twist on the program, from crazy drills (the players spent 40 minutes one preseason practice racing each other around the school's campus in an effort to see who could collect the most trash) to a frenzied practice tempo.
"Even when we're at practice, it's all energy, all the time," said senior Greg Stuart, one of four team captains. "And that includes even when we're just stretching or warming up. This year we're going full game speed all the time."
This, Hill said, is what he's envisioned since the days when being a head coach of his own program was only a dream.
"I've coached at three different high schools, and at each place I took some things from what those coaches did that I knew I'd want to incorporate into my program some day," Hill said. "To me, it's all about having a pace. It's about putting the kids through high intensity drills, while maintaining discipline throughout, so you can show them they can do more than they think they can if they push themselves."
Like the trash collection: The rubbish that the players gathered weighed in at more than 500 pounds.
"We're ready to play now," said Andre Allen, another senior captain. "I think a lot of it comes from our coach. He's like one of us. I mean, he's calm and collected when he needs to be, but at the same time he's as into things as we are."
That's because even with a new coaching regime, the Patriots' expectations for success have not diminished. Park View's players say they have their sights firmly set on winning the AA Dulles District title, something the Patriots have not done since the 2002 season, when they posted their second straight undefeated district record and advanced to the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
"When I was in middle school it seemed like every Park View team won a championship," Stuart said. "That's what Park View was. Now, for the seniors, we haven't won a title since our freshman year, and that's not acceptable. Everybody feels like we have to win districts this year."
Hill isn't ready to make such an assertion himself, but he did say that the commitment and enthusiasm his players have shown this preseason gives him reason for optimism.
"These players are very passionate," Hill said. "We have 63 kids who are fully committed to finding success.
"And let me tell you, there's something to be said about 63 kids who would run through a wall for you. And that's what I think I've got."
Park View at Loudoun Valley
Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.
The Patriots' second game of the season will provide a good indication of their progress in Hill's new schemes.
This Season's Schedule
DateOpponentTimeSept. 9at Jefferson7Sept. 16at Loudoun Valley7:30Sept. 23Herndon7:30Sept. 30Broad Run7:30Oct. 7Martinsburg (W. Va.)7:30Oct. 14at Heritage7:30Oct. 21Dominion*7:30Oct. 28at Potomac Falls7:30Nov. 4Loudoun County7:30Nov. 11at Broad Run7:30*homecoming
Last Year's Results
DateOpponentResultSept. 3at Fort DefianceW, 53-9Sept. 10at CulpeperW, 30-7Sept. 20RiverbendW, 47-12Oct. 1at Stone BridgeL, 28-21Oct. 8at DominionW, 48-12Oct. 15Broad RunW, 27-24Oct. 22HeritageW, 38-7Oct. 30at Loudoun CountyW, 37-0Nov. 5Loudoun ValleyL, 28-17Nov. 16Potomac FallsW, 32-7