New Hoosac Valley head football coach leads his 'Canes
CHESHIRE -- In the shadow of the new Hoosac Valley High School, Dayne Poirot is quietly building the new Hoosac Valley football team.
The soft-spoken Poirot, in his first year as Hurricanes head coach, worked his team through drills on Wednesday at a rapid-fire pace. Stalking the field in a black UMass football t-shirt, Poirot's commands came quick and crisp.
"It keeps us moving," said senior captain Zach O'Neill. "It keeps us on what we have to do. There's no down time, really. There's no slacking."
Poirot wants to keep Hoosac moving forward after a couple years of stagnation. The Hurricanes won a county title and a Super Bowl three years ago under John Duval before failing to get out of the Western Massachusetts Division II semifinals the last two years.
A big part of Poirot's plan is film work, something he learned playing for legendary Hoosac coach Joe Alcaro in the late 90s.
"[Film]'s huge for me. That's really big for me," Poirot, 29, said. "Coming from the defensive end of things, I think we really value our films. John [Duval] really valued the films. We would get together and go through an entire film and pick up mistakes.
"Sometimes kids don't believe you that you're not doing the right thing. Sometimes you got to show them on film."
Poirot warned some of the younger players that he would be brutally honest in film sessions. Some of the older ones were already used to hearing it from when Poirot was the defensive coordinator under Duval.
Senior running back/linebacker Blake Gaylord said that feedback is a good thing.
"He's very specific," Gaylord said. "You got to do it right or else you're getting yelled at. It makes us remember it."
Poirot said Alcaro used to beg him to watch film when Poirot suited up for the Hurricanes. Like any teenager, he said he probably didn't pay as much attention as he should have. That changed after he left Cheshire to play at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and later at Western New England University.
"In college, my D-coordinator was very good at breaking down film and explaining it to you," Poirot said.
Andrew Milesi agreed with his coach and fellow captains that film is a great way to illustrate things he and his teammates may not pick up in practice. It's all in the name of getting better week after week, something Poirot said separated the Super Bowl champion Hurricanes from other squads.
It's how Poirot plans to bring another championship to Cheshire.
"Every year John [Duval] was here, we got to the county championship game," Poirot said. "That's huge. That's a lot better than most programs are doing, which is a credit to John. We want to win. You get to that county championship game, you want to win."
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