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Pasco High School's new coach leading major turnaround of football program

The Pirates are off to a 4-0 start under new head coach Alphonso Freeney.

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — After moving to Florida with his wife, Alphonso Freeney had his mind set on becoming the head football coach for Pasco High School, if the opportunity presented itself. In 2021, that opportunity came. 

Pasco hired Freeney to become their 24th head coach last December. So far, it has proved to be the right move. The program has undergone a drastic turnaround for the better. 

Freeney inherited a team that went 0-10 and was outscored 346-18 in 2021. It was the first winless season since 1942. This season, the Pirates are off to a 4-0 start. 

"We told them, 'Last year is last year.' I could care less. It's a new age [and a] new year," Freeney said. 

The undefeated start to the season is the best since 2012 when the Pirates went unbeaten in the regular season.

The winning results on Friday nights began away from the field for Pasco. Freeney and his coaching staff implemented a standard that every player has to uphold. 

"We have one rule here and that's, 'Don't embarrass us.' Don't embarrass your family [and] don't embarrass the program," Freeney said. 

Along with the standard, Freeney and his coaching staff mix in relatability and being personable with the players. They joke with the players, as well as, talk about music interests and football games they watched on television. 

The blend of being strict and fun made it easy for the players to buy into the style of play Freeney wants. 

"Everybody's kind of on us right now about how the turnaround's been. To me, every week [we are] 0-0," Freeney said. 

The Pirates play their next game on Friday, Sept. 30 against Cypress Creek.

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