Pinnock ready to go
It was Thanksgiving Day 2014, and Tristan Pinnock intensely watched his older brother, Christian, on the football field for the last time. He knew someday he would make his mark on the game.
Seven years later, the younger Pinnock returned a kickoff 82 yards for a score, nabbed an interception, and was named the game’s defensive Most Valuable Player award in helping his team to a 47-13 victory in Catasauqua last year.
This year, Pinnock took the cue from his past success, and has been among the team’s top defensive players as well as a steady contributor in his team’s undefeated run in the East Penn Conference (EPC) North Division and their advancement to the District 11 Class 6A semifinals.
The Konkrete Kids (11-1) will host the Rough Riders (7-5) in the 99th meeting between the two teams Thursday morning.
And the junior certainly will be ready to play. He has been a three-year starter and an integral part of the Kids’ program.
“I have been going to the game since I was little,” said Pinnock. “I knew someday that I would be on the field. Watching my brother play in it was a lot of fun. He had a big influence over me, and helped me a lot with my game. I began to understand what the game really meant to everybody, and how special it was.
In my freshman year, we didn’t have the game because of COVID. I was really anxious to get out there last year, and everything really worked out well for me.”
This season, Pinnock had 37 tackles, five interceptions, and a fumble recovery from his defensive back position. On the other side of the ball as a receiver/running back, Pinnock caught 21 passes for 325 yards with three touchdowns, and he rushed for 293 yards on 52 carries with five touchdowns.
Head coach John Toman realizes Pinnock’s versatility.
“Tristan is a talented athlete,” said Toman. “He has started for three years, and he is our shutdown corner. Offensively, we are always trying to scheme to get him the ball. On special teams, he is our kick blocker, returner, and he is on every special team except the extra point. Tristan is a leader on the team that young players look up to. He has the ability and personality to be a captain next year.”
Pinnock knows basketball season is around the corner, and he will be a key returnee on a team likely in a rebuilding mode. He has made a few college visits, and enjoyed his trip to the University of Pennsylvania. An Ivy League seems to be in the offing for him.
“I really enjoyed Penn,” he said. “They treated me well, and I believe it can be a good environment for me at an Ivy League school. If It isn’t Penn, I will look around at others.”
Pinnock plans to enjoy himself on Thanksgiving morning, and he understands the significance of the game. He doesn’t think the game has lost any of its luster.
“People think it is not the same over the past few years,” said Pinnock. “The game still is pretty intense, and it means something to the communities. It still is a big game to me because my brother played in it, and I’m getting my chance.
“I want to make the most of it.”