CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - After over 2 decades, the Thousand Islands Girls’ Basketball Team will have a new head coach on the sidelines next season with Pete Pettit calling it a career after the Lady Vikings 46-40 win over LaFargeville last week to close out their abbreviated 2021 season.
”Well, I’ve got my own kids at home to take care of. I got one girl that’s a swimmer, so I kind of want to follow her and watch her successes. I have a son that’s starting his basketball career next year, so I kind of want to be more involved in that process as well. I keep telling people I’ve coached everyone else’s kid, now it’s time to coach mine now,” said Pettit.
Pettit has been a fixture on the Thousand Islands sidelines for the last 23 years, leading the T.I. Girls’ Basketball Team to 288 wins, 12 straight Frontier League C Division League and Playoff titles and a Sectional title.
Along with that, the Lady Vikings have not lost a Frontier League C Division game since 2009.
While winning the sectional title was a highlight, he says his first Frontier League title sticks out as well.
”One of my favorites was the first time we ever won it. Back in only my 5th year, we won a league title which was school history then. And if it wasn’t for those kids, I had such a small team then, too- If it wasn’t for those kids kind of building interest in our program, I don’t think that sectional title would have happened and all these other league and playoff titles wouldn’t have happened. I keep always remembering that first team that did it for us,” said Pettit.
Pettit says it hasn’t hit him yet that he won’t be on the sidelines next season, but adds the time was right to step aside.
”I’m just very fortunate to be a part of that program for all these years and I just hope that the girls continue. I’m not leaving the cupboard bare at T.I. There’s some really good talent and I wish them the best. That was one hard thing about deciding when to quit. There’s always a couple kids that you feel like I gotta stay around for them. I gotta stay around for them and I feel bad now. There’s some kids that I really feel bad that I’m leaving, but I gotta do it. It’s just more about me now than the other kids,” said Pettit.