Portage Northern head coach Pete Schermerhorn was named as the Detroit Lions week two recipient of the 2020 High School Football Coach of the Week award Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020.
Schermerhorn’s Huskies won their second game of the season with a 36-6 victory over Mattawan and as of Oct. 1, the team was 2-0 and ranked number four in Division 2.
The High School Football Coach of the Week award is given to the coach that "best demonstrates success on and off the field, develops players’ character, discipline, and football skill in addition to emphasizing player health and safety in their program," and that coach of will be recognized for his commitment to the team, school, and community. The winner is selected by a panel of high school football media members.
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Schermerhorn said he didn't even know that he was nominated for the award. The 27-year head coach said he was asked to participate in a Zoom call about one of his players, which was really a congratulatory call from the Detroit Lions.
"It means everything. Everything we do is geared towards winning football games, but winning them the right way. We expect a lot of our kids, we expect a lot out of our coaches. We are trying to develop a program that is sustaining, and is not a flash in the pan program. You have to do that with good character, doing things the right way," Schermerhorn said.
Senior offensive lineman Alford Anderson said that Schermerhorn was the perfect recipient for the award.
"Big character is just a big thing for our school, you can't be a bad kid and play for this football team. You have to have your grades up, you can't be swearing at practice, all kinds of stuff like that," Anderson said.
Senior quarterback T.J. Coon said that Schermerhorn pushes the team to be better every single day.
"He deserves it. Little details every day, sprinting off field, making sure our masks are up, he really deserves it," Coon said.
Schermerhorn was in his 33rd season coaching high school football in 2020 and in his 27th season as head coach at Portage Northern. Schermerhorn has led the Huskies to the playoffs in seven of the past 10 seasons, including back-to-back district championships in 2018 and 2019.
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His coaching career began with four years as an assistant at Portage Northern, followed by two years as head coach at Martin.
The Huskies have qualified for the MHSAA playoffs a total of 14 seasons, reaching a program-high 10 wins in 2019. His career record is 142-114, which is a 55.5% record.
On Friday, Oct. 2, the Huskies were scheduled to host the 0-2 Richland Gull Lake Blue Devils in a Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference battle.
Each winning coach during the regular season will receive a $1,500 donation to his school’s football program. At the conclusion of the 2020 Michigan High School Football season, the Lions also select the High School Football Coach of the Year. This season’s Coach of the Year will receive a $3,000 donation to his school’s football program. All winners will receive a certificate signed by Lions’ head coach Matt Patricia and National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell.