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Football Player of the Week: West Hall's Antonio Pittman

POSTED: August 26, 2013 10:31 p.m.

Antonio Pittman’s role as a West Hall Spartan has been increasing ever since he first stepped onto the field in Oakwood.

Coach Tony Lotti worked with the senior running back this summer to help him get more prepared to enter a number of tough battles in Region 7-AAA, and he believes Pittman is ready to take on the responsibilities of a key player in West Hall’s lineup.

“We had to push him out of his comfort zone some to help him work on the mental aspect, and he’s improved a lot in the offseason,” Lotti said.

Now, Pittman is expected to be a leader for the Spartans.

He did just that in the season opener, rushing for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns in West Hall’s 35-0 rout of Johnson Friday night.

For his efforts, Pittman is The Times’ Football Player of the Week.

“When (Pittman) makes the decision to run hard with the ball, he’s a hard running back to bring down,” Lotti said.

One of the main things that Lotti and the Spartans’ coaching staff have been working on is getting Pittman comfortable enough facing the grind to commit to the run and give each play everything he has.

“In the offseason, we emphasized not letting individual plays be a distraction,” Lotti said. “The mental side of the game is really important for him because the team feeds off of each other.”

The Spartans, thanks to Lotti stressing the importance of team attitude, are quickly adopting the concept of working as a whole, and the coach noted that Pittman’s attitude during a game is one of the key factors in getting his team in the right mindset.

“When he goes hard, that kind of attitude is infectious,” Lotti said. “He gives the kind of effort we want to see from every player.”

Pittman has embraced his role as a leader, and Lotti believes that he has embraced his position on the defensive side of the ball as well as the Spartans’ nose tackle.

“We’re just getting all of them to be able to handle the grind,” Lotti said. “They’re working on the team concept and he’s embraced his defensive role as well because he gives the same effort there.”

Since Pittman gives his very best for West Hall, Lotti said that the team gives back, and his offensive line is extremely aware of how potent Pittman’s running game is.

“Our offensive line knows that if they give him just a little crease, he will give them all he’s got,” Lotti said.

The Spartans have a bye this week, but Pittman will get another chance to show his skills when West Hall visits Chestatee on Sept. 6 in Gainesville.



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