Pat Slater, Randolph head football coach, was named the Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week #7 after his Cardinals won the D East Division title with a 52-0 win over previously undefeated Portville.
"They had five starters out," Slater said. "We were real concerned about our kids going down there and not showing up. Maybe they wouldn't have to play hard."
Slater had nothing to fear. The Cardinals roared out of the gate and led 37-0 after one quarter.
"Our kids came out and played hard," Slater said. "We got turnovers and scored on them real fast. The game was over after the first quarter."
Despite the seven wins and zero losses start, Slater says that he still doesn't have a handle on how good his team is.
"I think we're still up in the air," he said. "We have the potential to be pretty good, but we have gotten a lot of breaks along the way. In our league when you play teams that are missing kids it makes a big difference."
Slater also said that the schedule has worked in his team's favor this season.
"Three of the teams in our division are really, really young," he said. "I still want to know how we will respond when the games get a lot tougher. And the games are going to start getting tougher each week now."
Randolph does not have a veteran team this year. The Cardinals have just four starters on defense and two on offense from last year's team that won the New York State title.
However, Slater says that all his players did benefit from the extended season.
"Most of these kids were on the team," he said. "They went along with us and they got to experience everything."
Slater played quarterback and running back in high school football at Randolph. After graduation, he played defensive back for Findley College in Ohio. Slater returned to Randolph and landed a teaching job in 1978. He was named the program's head coach in 1979.
Slater, who has won two NYS titles in the past five seasons, now has 196 career wins. Only three other coaches in Western New York have won 200 games, but Slater does not put much emphasis on the number.
"It's not about me," he said. "I'm just trying to have fun and teach kids."
This is the 14th consecutive year of the Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week program. Each week during the 11-week high school football season, a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills selects a head football coach as the High School Football Coach of the Week.
The honorees will receive an official certificate from the commissioner of the NFL, plus a Bills Coach of the Week cap and a $1,000 donation to the school's football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Recognition of the winning coach will be shown on the Buffalo Bills official website (www.buffalobills.com). At the end of the season, one of the weekly award winners will be named the High School Football Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the school's football program.
2010 Coach of the Week Winners:
Week 1 – Rich Harris (Kenmore West Blue Devils)
Week 2 – Tom Goddard (Clarence Red Devils)
Week 3 – Ed Wilson (McKinley Macks)
Week 4 – Brandon Harris (Canisius Crusaders)
Week 5 – Dennis Gilbert (St. Joe's Marauders)
Week 6 – Jay Sirianni (Southwestern Trojans)
Week 7 – Pat Slater (Randolph Cardinals)