By Erik Harris
JEFFERSON COUNTY – They might be rivals on the field, but Clay-Chalkville quarterback Ty Pigrome and Hewitt-Trussville head coach Josh Floyd represent the Tribune coverage area with two highly regarded Birmingham Metro high school football awards.
“I think it’s a great deal, it says a lot about this area and how strong the football is,” said Floyd. “There’s a lot of excitement here in this region for football.”
Pigrome quarterbacked his Cougars to a 15-0 record that ended with a Class 6A state title. His unbelievable mark of 61 touchdowns scored along with the bling he has to show for it was good enough to name him the 2014 Metro Football Player of the Year.
“I think I deserve to win this award because of how my coaches push me and how I work hard at practice,” said Pigrome.
A few steps up Deerfoot Parkway, Floyd barely had his coaching staff assembled in time for the season. The same season that challenged the Husky program in the midst of a transition with one of the toughest schedules in the state.
Regardless of his circumstances, the highest-paid coach between Mississippi and Georgia found a way to change the culture at Hewitt-Trussville, navigate a nightmarish schedule and still manage a postseason bid in the debut season of Class 7A. Some might say that Floyd earned his paycheck while capturing the 2014 Metro Coach of the Year award.
“It’s a team award, I don’t look at it like some individual thing,” said Floyd. “I think a bunch of the credit, obviously, goes to the players and all of the coaches.”
There’s good news for both fan bases. Both the coach and the quarterback are expected back for their second year on the job in 2015.
In his first season under center for Clay-Chalkville, Pigrome completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,692 yards and 36 touchdowns. The junior added 1,254 yards rushing for another 24 scores.
His first career start was unlike most, at least at the high school level. Pigrome was asked to fill the shoes of highly-touted signal caller Hayden Moore in a nationally televised Saturday afternoon clash with Niceville (Fla.) at Hoover High School’s Buccaneer Stadium.
Despite his lack of experience, Pigrome commanded the offense, completing 11-of-14 passes for 404 all-purpose yards and four scores in the 44-23 win.
The righty only grew from there and by the time December rolled around he was a complete quarterback, capable of holding in the pocket to make championship throws.
His improvisation skills were there all along, but his ability to be coached made him a champion and the Quarterback of the Year.
Floyd, just like Pigrome, got his opening season off with a win. The first-year head coach rallied his team back from a 17-point deficit to beat Gardendale 30-24.
After a pair of region losses, Floyd’s offense began to click and the Huskies won four of their next five games, including a win at No. 7 Gadsden City, to squeeze their way into the playoffs.
Hewitt-Trussville ended the regular season with losses to two eventual state champions and couldn’t manage a second upset at Gadsden City. But considering the transition of the program and the fact that they played all but two ranked opponents through their final seven games, 5-6 was a great year to build on for Floyd.