A deeper look into Greenville Tigers’ brotherhood

Published 9:06 am Monday, September 18, 2023

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The Greenville Tigers fell to the Eufaula Tigers this week 45-13, giving Greenville a 0-3 season so far. Head coach Garrick Pimienta spoke about the team’s struggles and how they are working through them, and senior player, No. 24 Landon McLain, explained his perspective of leadership with the team he called a brotherhood. 

“Last week against Charles Henderson, I don’t feel like we prepared at a level that was necessary to win,” Pimienta said. “I think we were distracted by social media, the rivalry and things that are not as important as preparing to play the game. These preparation issues are associated with just being diligent and understanding that every little thing matters.”

Pimienta explained that the Tigers only have nine seniors this year leading the 60-player team, and that low number creates a struggle for players to hold each other accountable. The coach said he needs the leadership to come from the junior class players this season, and that there is much to learn on how to give and receive criticism. 

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“Taking criticism from your peers is hard,” Pimienta said. “But in that hard moment if your teammates are right, then you have to accept that and learn to grow in the right direction. I have seen positive steps in this regard. I think just reminding the players that how they look on the field, how they act in the hallway, how they interact with their teachers and coaches all directly correlate to how well they play a game. I think they’re starting to see and understand this.” 

McLain said his focus as a team leader is to lift his teammates up in positivity. 

“Being the guy that your teammates look up to comes with a lot of responsibility, but it makes you feel appreciated,” McLain said. “I try to be a positive role model in the classroom as well as on the field. One of my main focuses this year is to be positive, as being negative has no good impact towards the team, so I try to always lift people up when I get the chance.”

McLain added that the coaching staff’s care for the team is incredible. 

“The biggest strength in our team is our brotherhood,” McLain said. “We have a strong brotherly love and will always have each other’s backs. The coaching staff really cares about us and wants us to succeed. The love and effort they have put into the program this year has been incredible and nothing like I have ever experienced before.”

Pimienta explained that it is a marathon, not a sprint, and that the coaches and players are working diligently to improve their weaknesses. The coach added what is most important is teaching the players how to prepare mentally. 

“The biggest thing that I want people to know about the Greenville High football team is that we are really focused on teaching the boys how to mentally prepare themselves for a tough task, and I think that can be applied to more than just football,” Pimienta said. “Everything that you think might happen on that field needs to be mentally prepared on how to attack before you get in the game. That’s where we’re at as a team, just learning how to go through that process, and every week will be important.”

Pimienta said the coaches are working to use every moment as a teaching moment, so as not to fall short on the team’s potential. 

“I think we still have a really good team,” Pimienta said. “We just have to be mature enough to prepare at an elite level to elicit elite results.”

Greenville High School will travel to face Selma on Sept. 22.