As August soon approaches along with it a new school year, Colonial Beach Drifters and their fans will be ushering in a new leader for the their athletics department. Joining a chain of new directors to the Rappahannock River Conference, Colonial Beach Athletic Director Mike Patierno is ready to get the new school year underway.
While Patierno understands the role he has accepted, the success depends on everyone from the players to the coaches, and parents to the government offices.
“We’re all together in this and I rely on everyone that’s part of that pie,” Patierno said. “If we’re going to have success it’s going to be because we all came together to get that success.”
The new director comes with a bit of challenges as well as being the school division’s transportation supervisor. In athletics, Patierno is faced with the trending demands for equal rights for male and female athletes, the small enrollment size compared to other schools and the upcoming school year.
“My job as a the director is to ensure they are being equally supported the same way so they can go out and do the best they can to win,” Patierno said. “I look at challenges instead as just opportunities for us to be successful.”
The new director said he is going to take his time and examine the needs for the department such as the public address systems at the football field and gymnasium. His priorities will be based on his meeting with the coaches.
“They are the ones out doing it everyday with the kids at practices and games,” Patierno said.
What will be key in improving on the athletic department is the coaches working as a team, Paiterno explained.
“Everybody seems to working with everybody and they want to see Colonial Beach succeed regardless of the sport and gender of the athletes,” Patierno said.
Superintendent Kathleen Beane said while she is thankful to have Patierno on board with the staff, she is more so excited about the future tailgate party to kickoff the football season.
“I thought what a great idea because that’s where you build relationships and connections,” Beane said.
Patierno said football teams will start practices on Aug. 1 and on Aug. 5 will be the start date for the volleyball teams. Completed physical forms are required to participate as well as being academically eligible, Patierno said.
The new director succeeds Steve Swope after starting on July 1. Two weeks ago, vacancies were still present for an assistant coach, boys basketball and positions with the high school baseball team. The director said he does not plan to coach any teams.
Looking ahead at the season, Patierno was asked about the success of the teams this year. In response, he didn’t give any expectations.
“If I have kids out there that like what they’re doing, playing by the rules, have coaches that are guiding them appropriately and playing with sportsmanship, the wins will come,” Patierno said.