Dennis Piron might just be the hottest head coach in the State of Illinois over the past three seasons. Piron has compiled an impressive 34-3 record over the past three years and also led Batavia to the 2013 Class 6A state title. Get to know this young head coach on the rise here.
EDGYTIM: So has the party finally settled down in Batavia yet?
Dennis Piron: It's still going on (laughing). It's been so wonderful all of the nice events the community has had for the kids to celebrate. We had the usual stuff with the school board and we just had a ring ceremony and that was a really cool night. The kids also took part in a banner raising along with all of the assemblies when we came back to town. The town literally shut down the night we came back from the state title game. They had a street party for us that our mayor took care of along with a police escort. We met with the city council and we also talked to the rotary club. We will take part in a parade in the spring and we also get to go down to Springfield and go in front of the general assembly. It's been a big deal in our school and for our community and the kids really feel honored. It's been a wonderful experience for all of us. One of the best things was when we got invited to go down to the Bears game against the Packers. The captains got to run out onto the field which was something that the IHSA put together with the Bears. Everything was just fun and all of it was done in a first class manner. Throw in all of the nice things we hear in the community from people plus all you see around town now is Bulldog gear. Bulldog gear is flying off the shelves around here. Anything that has the state championship logo on it is big here. We've been selling an awful lot of it and you can't go anywhere now without seeing that Bulldog gear.
EDGYTIM: Could you have drawn up a better state title game opponent for you than Oak Lawn Richards after losing to them in Week 2?
Dennis Piron: When we landed the Richards game on the schedule it was coming off of a few good season for us and you know how hard it is to schedule. When Richards called us a few years ago we knew they had something special coming along at Richards. We just felt that Richards would be a great team for us to face. It was a great regular season match up and along with the Glenbard (North) game it gave us another look at a team with tremendous athleticism and speed. When we saw Richards the year before we said as a staff that they were a team that could win a state championship. They definitely looked like a real dark horse team that could go all the way. When we played Richards back in Week 2 we knew everything we were gutting into against them. It was a wonderful football game and a bounce here or there and it could of been a different outcome. Yet we felt that this was a level of football that tested us on where we were at with our own speed and athleticism. I think that a lot of things we did the rest of the year was based off of how do we play at that high level we saw in the first two games. How do you deal with athletes like those at Richards? How do you deal with a staff that puts great athletes in position to be successful? The reality from the state title rematch against Richards was that we were healthy and they were a bit banged up. They played a few teams before us that required a high level of physical play. It would be like us facing a Lake Forest two weeks in a row with the physical style of play they always play against us. We had a couple things in our favor going into the state title game but the focus and the preparation level of our kids was amazing. The focus of our scouts, the work the coaches put in along with the eye for detail from everyone all paid off in the state title game. I felt like my staff did a tremendous job getting ready for that game and really the entire playoff run.
EDGYTIM: One of the more interesting match ups that has developed over the past few years has been the state playoff games against Lake Forest.
Dennis Piron: Talk to Mike Gaspari (retired Hall of Fame Batavia head coach and current Batavia offensive coordinator) about Lake Forest. Mike hates playing Lake Forest. Mike told me after scouting them that it was going to be hard to get touchdowns against them. They play tough defense like a lot of those teams up North in that conference. I don't know what's going on up there but you have teams like Stevenson and Lake Zurich and they just all seem to have tough kids playing defense on those teams. After you play Lake Forest you know you've been in a battle against them. You just can't make mistakes against them and expect to win. You have to work for everything you get against them. They are just well prepared and well coached. I think we've been lucky getting to play them here at home the past few meetings. We've also have had some crazy weather when we've played them as well. The first time we played them we had a tremendous wind storm and then we had messy, rainy, sloppy, cold mix the next year. I guess you can say in both of those scenarios it wasn't beneficial to either offense but it was an advantage to be on our home field.