PVC Shows Knights’ Unity

Coach Mike Bevill cuts the pipe, while head coach Brett Bevill holds it in place, after the Knights defeat Washington High School 41-25 (Michal Basford)
Coach Mike Bevill cuts the pipe, while head coach Brett Bevill holds it in place, after the Knights defeat Washington High School 41-25 (Michal Basford)

“Cut the Pipe” is a tradition implemented this year, rooted in the culture of the team. The purpose of it is to show what they believe in and hope to achieve.

“We’re more positive, and we work harder,” quarterback Aidan McDaniel said. “The whole ‘Above the Line’ thing just changed our whole culture and everything, so it made us want to push ourselves to our limit.”

The culture of the team includes a feeling of family, “We not me,” and working hard at practice. These are incorporated into the pipe in what it represents: be the hardest working team, family – including “Forget me, love you,” and above the line. The coaches hold them to this standard even at practice.

“From the beginning of this season, I’ve seen the team grow closer as a family rather than individually,” coach Arty Johnson said. “There was a lot of individuality before, and we’ve come closer as one unit since the beginning of the season.”

The pipe is spray painted each week with the opposing school and mascot name on either side of the PVC. It is cut when the team wins the game that Friday, and the piece cut is given to the player of the week like a trophy. However, when the team loses, the pipe is not cut and is instead painted over. Again, this is symbolic and represents either cutting off the “dead weight” from the past week or wiping off the team to move on.

Once cut, the pipe piece is left on the turf, during the coaches' talk with the players (Michal Basford)
Once cut, the pipe piece is left on the turf during the coaches’ talk with the players (Michal Basford)

“It’s [losing, not cutting the pipe] part of the game,” Johnson said. “It’s something that we know could happen, and we just have to go back to the drawing board knowing that we can still accomplish some of the goals. But those goals that we left behind, we have to forget about them, and we know that they’re on our mind to succeed for the bigger goal which is to finish the season positive. That’s what we want to be, and we did that. Those teams we left on the pipe, we’re gonna come back and get them in the next season. That’s motivation for us.”

Coach Mike Bevill, the head coach’s father, spoke with Brett about the idea to introduce the cutting of the pipe (earlier in year) and began in August for the first time. Mike Bevill is the one in charge of cutting the pipe after the team has sung the fight song when the team wins.

“It’s amazing,” Brett Bevill said. “It’s a great feeling. I feel like a kid in a candy store. You’re elated, you’re so happy, you’re excited. You’re not so happy for you; I feel like I’m more happy with them. I’m especially happy for the seniors when we get to cut the pipe because I was a senior here whenever we got a new head coach and it’s just tough transitioning anytime you have a new head coach, and I’m very excited for those guys. We’ve had some successes this year. [I’m] so pumped for them to be able to have that.”

This pipe comes into play not just when the team wins but also at practice. The players line up on either side of the field in pairs behind pieces of pipes that read “Above the Line”  in order to begin warmups. The goal is that, when they step over the pipe, they forget about what has happened during the day or anything else that could be troubling them which, in turn, allows them to give their all at practice.

“I think it’s night and day [from] where we started,” Bevill said. “I’m so proud of the team as a whole. I feel like we have more energy, we have more effort than the beginning of the year – and this is the end of the year. Usually, at the end of the year, you taper off, and I feel like we’re better as a unit.”

Players link arms before the game against WHS as the coin is tossed (Michal Basford)
Players link arms before the game against WHS as the coin is tossed (Michal Basford)

From the players:

“Cut the Pipe, to me, means all the hard work that we’ve put in throughout the week – with the coaches, what they tell us to do is win every day, and to me, it means that through the five days of preparation for the team that we face that week, that we won every day and that we were the hardest working team,” junior Connor Gallagher said.

“[Cut the Pipe means] that we’re getting better every week and that we just add another W to our record,” quarterback Aidan McDaniel said.

“It’s honestly a feeling I can’t describe because it’s such an amazing feeling,” offensive guard Ryan Gordon said. “Really after not going through seasons where we have been winning much and going losing, losing, losing, it’s different to win, and it feels unbelievable.”

“[Cut the pipe means] that we work hard enough to win a game from the week of practices and that we worked harder than the other team at practices,” offensive and defensive tackle Daniel Ostrovskiy said.

“[When we cut the pipe,] we got past that team, we get them out of our system,” left tackle Jaren Arnold said. “We beat them, we’re done with that. Cutting the pipe means that’s in the past, get it out of your mind, go to next week.”