The Independent continues a series on head football coaches in the Clovis Unified School District. George Petrissans of Clovis West High School is profiled today. The series will appear intermittently during the football season.
George Petrissans credits his father — who never played football — with being one of the biggest influences on his coaching.
“He instilled in all of us — my older brother, older sister and me — that you had to work hard. He was always pushing us and motivating us to work harder,” Petrissans said.
Two coaches — Brian Rodoni in Los Banos and Chris Keevers at St. Mary’s College — also helped shape Petrissans’ coaching style.
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Both men pushed him to excel but cared about him as a person, which made Petrissans want to play hard for them.
“If I could be like Chris Keevers or Brian Rodoni or my father [Jean Pierre Petrissans], that would be huge for me,” Petrissans said.
Here is a look at Petrissans and the Golden Eagles as the 2016 season gets underway.
▪ Petrissans is heading into his third year at Clovis West.
▪ He started Pop Warner football in fifth grade in Los Banos and continued at Los Banos High School, Chico State (one year) and St. Mary’s in the Bay Area (three years). “My older brother, Gilbert, played, and I wanted to be like him,” Petrissans said. “I also loved being around teammates and being coached. There’s not much to do in Los Banos, and sports were the thing to do for me.”
He was a defensive lineman for St. Mary’s.
▪ His most memorable game was playing for St. Mary’s at Sacramento State. Sacramento State was in a higher division and had more scholarships than St. Mary’s. “But we prided ourselves in working hard and playing together as a team,” Petrissans said.
St. Mary’s was 5-0 going into the game, but players found that someone had scrawled 5-1 on a chalkboard in their locker room. “It made me mad,” Petrissans said. “We came out and pulled together as a group. We were truly inspired.”
St. Mary’s won the game.
▪ He rooted for the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers growing up.
▪ After graduating from college, Petrissans wanted to become a college football coach. He had stints as an assistant coach at San Jose State, St. Mary’s and the University of California, Berkeley. “At that point, I was 29 — almost 30 — and I hadn’t had a really high paying job since I graduated college,” Petrissans said. “It was just time for me to start making money. But then I found a new love in coaching high school football. It’s been so fun.”
Coaching high school also gave him stability. “I wanted to have a family,” he said. “I get to be with my wife and son more.”
Petrissans coached for 12 years at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento before coming to Clovis West.
▪ Coaching in the Tri-River Athletic Conference: “It’s challenging each week. There are excellent coaches in the TRAC and in the Fresno area as a whole. You gotta be on your toes and ready to play each week. One of the reasons I love being at Clovis West is that we have a schedule that’s demanding, and you want it to be that way each week.”
▪ Coaching at Clovis West: “There’s so much tradition here, from TRAC titles to championships to longtime coaches like Bill Crawford, James Moxley, Tommy Deal and Art Francis, who are still working with us on our staff. Just great people who give me great advice. It’s really a blessing.”
▪ In 2015, Clovis West went 6-5 overall and 2-3 in league. Outlook for the 2016 season: “We come into every season with the goal of a TRAC title and Valley championship. Our players are great kids, and they’ve bought into what we’re doing. The sky’s the limit for them.”
Adrian Martinez, quarterback, junior. “Special player. Special person. Tremendous athlete. Very good leader. Excellent student,” Petrissans said.
Diego Cruz, wide receiver and defensive back, senior. “Tremendous leader and excellent student,” Petrissans said.
Dakota Helms, wide receiver and defensive back, junior
Jayden Helms, wide receiver and defensive back, junior
DJ Schramm, tight end and linebacker, junior
Dustin Schramm, tight end and linebacker, junior
Clive Truschel, offensive and defensive lineman, senior
Rodney Wright, running back and wide receiver, junior
Tykee Woods, running back and defensive back, junior
James Moxley — Defensive Coordinator
Bill Crawford and Todd Nagamine — Inside Linebackers
Tommy Deal — Defensive Line
Jake East — Wide Receivers
Art Francis — Outside Linebackers
Taylor Genuser — Quarterbacks
James Perez — Wide Receivers
Joe Pierro — Defensive Backfield
Rodney Wright — Wide Receivers
Petrissans coaches the offensive line, and he coordinates and calls plays.
Krisz Arreola, Gayton Arturo, Trevor Bernardoni, Khajavi Boaz, Brigham Bray, Kieler Castro, Nick Coleman, Diego Cruz, Thomas Curran, Zach Daniel, Chad Day, Nick Defranchi, Quinton Drake, Israel Douglas, Jeremiah Ellison, Isack Espana and Jalen Felton.
Isaiah Garcia, Ryan Garcia, Jhovan Garcia, Donovan Gonzales, Nicholas Gorham, Blake Hall, Dakota Helms, Jayden Helms, Taha Ibrahim, Hayden Leach, Josh Licea, Kody Lo, Adam Lopez, Brock Lowe, Barry Lualemaga, Einer Martinez, Adrian Martinez, RT McLain, Liam Meyers and Jeremiah Muhammad.
Quinn Nugent, Je’ylon Parrish, Cam Pizarro, Eli Riofrio, Santana Rios, Miguel Junior Rodriguez, Blake Schafer, DJ Schramm, Dustin Schramm, Alec Shanabruch, Gabe Solorio, Clive Truschel, Tykee Woods and Rodney Wright.
Clovis West 2016 Football Schedule
8/26 — Liberty at Lamonica
9/1 — Centennial at Veterans Memorial
9/9 — Edison at Sunnyside
9/16 — at Rocklin (Placer County)
9/ 23 — Bullard at Veterans Memorial
9/30 — Bye
10/7 — Clovis North at Veterans Memorial
10/14 — Buchanan at Veterans Memorial
10/21 — Clovis East at Lamonica
10/28 — at Central
11/4 — Clovis at Veterans Memorial