Off the Patriot Gridiron; An Inside Look at the Varsity Team


Photo provided by Matthew Barber

The anticipation of a catch, the silence of the crowd, and the seconds ticking down on the scoreboard. These are all aspects that students look forward to when football season rolls around. However, what we see on the field is just the result of what happens off the field. Patriot’s almost undefeated season has resulted from plenty of hard work, encouraging coaches, and challenging practices time and time again.


The football team practices twice a day in the summer for extra endurance, and after school during the year. Film is also prioritized so that players can learn and grow from mistakes during games and learn how to be more connected when on the field. They also take part in both in and out-of-season workouts. They are a tight-knit team with unity being a key factor in their morals. Sean Finnerty, the head coach of the varsity team, has stated that “Football is the ultimate team sport, every position and player is needed in order to have success.” The team, according to Finnerty, is quite bonded and they continue to grow their relationships. The University of Southern Maine has conducted research on this, and they found that teams with a positive spirit and unity promote success on the field. They interviewed several different athletes and asked them about how different aspects of a team elevated their bond. The university noticed that players were more likely to continue playing the sport if team bonding was utilized by coaches.


Along with being a connected team during practice, workouts are also a crucial factor in the success of their games. “The weight room is extremely important.  We put a lot of emphasis on maintaining our strength throughout the season, so we are strong at the end, when we want to make a playoff push.” Finnerty said. According to the CDC, physical activity has plentiful benefits, including better balance and strength, which are critical to a player. Football takes a lot of stamina and endurance, so workouts are a helpful addition to training. It can help with speed, muscle building, and overall better focus for any player. They become stronger and more physically active, so that post-season can be a rewarding time for the team.


Throughout his four years of being the head coach at Patriot, Finnerty has grown to love his team. “I enjoy going to work every day with this team.  They always make my day better,” he commented. He wins with them, loses with them, and overall supports his team. Ohio University has a great article on being a good coach, and Finnerty checks the boxes on the list. He has found a rhythm that works and teaches his kids helpful life skills along the way. The football team is definitely organized and efficient at what they do. They show up to every game with a winning mentality, and they owe it all to what happens when the game clock isn’t running.