One Last Word On The Great Mike Pettine Sr.
Ever since we broke the news Friday afternoon that former CB West coach Mike Pettine Sr. had passed away, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. The outpouring of support for the Pettine family from friends, former players and anyone that knew him has been tremendous to see. There have so many incredible stories from former players and coaches that have surfaced that showed what kid of man Pettine was. So allow me to talk about my experience, which I believe is similar to most kids my age who grew up in Doylestown.
I grew up going to West games with my dad. I didn’t understand it at the time. I don’t think I realized at the time how special it was to have such a great program right down the road from my house. It was something that my dad and I would do together. I imagine it was like that for many fathers and sons. I can remember the Thanksgiving games at Del Val college against East. You grow up watching those high school kids and you want to emulate them. They were my heroes. I wanted to play for Coach Pettine. I remember the Lenape Valley football practices as a kid and heading over to the West game still in my uniform right from our Friday night practices. By the time I got to West, Pettine had retired and the luster had worn off the program that he built. But that really wasn’t the point.
Looking back on things, it was Pettine that brought the community of Doylestown together every Friday night in the fall. I have so many memories of my family and friends getting together and going to football games. Whether it was driving to Hershey or waiting at the school for the team buses and fire trucks to get there after a state championship win, it was special. It’s something that so many of us in Doylestown have experienced and I think people from out of town struggle to understand. To this day, I take my three year old son up to the West games like my dad did with me. I still go to Nat’s and get a slice of pizza and walk up to those games on Friday night, because it’s important to me that those memories are being created with my boy, and it’s all because of Coach Pettine.
My brother and I had the privilege last year of having dinner with Pettine after the CB West golf outing and it was a huge thrill for both of us. He was as sharp as ever. We talked football, golf, politics and whatever else we had on our minds. It was a privilege and something I’ll never forget.
You see, CB West football was more than just winning state championships. It was about turning young boys into men and teaching life lessons. It was about family and bringing a community together. Thank you Coach Pettine for giving us those memories.
May 08, 2017
February 14, 2017