For The Citizen
Coach: Tony DeGregorio – 1st year
Last year: 7-4, 0-4 District
Key losses: 11 seniors
Returners: Jaiden Cunningham, Tanner Hayden, Clayton Martinez and Rey Alejandro
When the 2020 Berea Pirates host Clinton County on Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m., it will be a new look in many ways. Leading the Pirates ship will be first year coach Tony DeGregorio who inherits a team that graduated 11 players.
DeGregorio is no stranger to Pirates football as he served as an assistant for five years. For leadership and play, the first year coach will look to Jaiden Cunningham, Tanner Hayden, Clayton Martinez and Rey Alejandro, all of whom saw significant snaps on both sides of the ball.
Though the team lost 11 seniors, DeGregorio expects overall team depth to be a strength in 2020.
“We should have more depth than last season, which will help,” he said. “The team’s expectation for this season is to continue the winning ways, never quit and play smash mouth football every week.”
Given the pandemic, DeGregorio said he considers being able to play the season a win-win for everyone involved in high school football.
“The nine-game season is the best case scenario we could hope for, the KHSAA has done and is continuing to do a great job by monitoring what is happening in the surrounding states with fall sports,” he said. “We have only been able to lift weights and condition, with limits of 10 players per group with each coach. As you know, Berea is a smaller school, so we don’t face the same issues as the larger schools with 50-plus players.”
The team has been able practice in full gear since Aug. 24. Because of it, DeGregorio feels everyone is in the same boat, preparation-wise.
“We only have about two and a half weeks from the time we are able to put on helmets until the first game, so it will be challenging,” he said.
Sept. 11 Clinton County – 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 at Sayre – 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 Harlan - 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Caverna – 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 at KCD – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16 Eminence – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23 at Frankfort – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30 at Jellico, Tenn. – 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6 Jackson County – 7:30 p.m.