Growing up in Lancaster, Reading High was always a school that I did not enjoy playing for many reasons. The 1 hour plus bus ride, my team's lack of preparation but the reality was our squad had a general fear of playing against the likes of Sam Bryant, Sean Gaul, James Bryant and Troy Godinet. The Red Knights were a powerhouse that put fear into their opponents for most of the 2000s. Unfortunately this former juggernaut has fallen on hard times with only 2 winning seasons in the past 12 years.
If there is anyone who is more passionate about their community and former school than Coach Godinet I would not believe it. Troy is passionate about the Red Knights and genuinely cares about their success on and off the field. Coach was a tenacious linebacker for both Reading and Mansfield University and he has transitioned that passion onto his players. He stopped by for a quick interview on his playing days, the merger and what Reading needs to do get back on top:
Carl Frederick: Congrats on the Head Coaching Job, how long have you been waiting for this opportunity?
Troy Godinet: Thank you, I truly appreciate it! Honestly, once I got into coaching I just wanted to live in my purpose. I knew this was where I was supposed to be and now that I’m in this position, I just want to continue to change lives with our vision. I have three great football mentors in Sean Gaul, Sam Bryant, and Jaimie Laws who have not only guided me but been by my side the whole time! We are ready for this!
CF: You were a star linebacker on some powerhouse Red Knight squads (Please don't remind me lol) what does Reading need to do to get back to that level?
TG: We need to focus on the WORK! We have to make sure we develop relationships with our student athletes so they can trust us in being mentors and developing them as players from Youth/Middle School/JV/Varsity! .This is not the Reading of 2003. So much has changed but one thing that will always stand true…… Nothing will get done without the WORK! We believe in our kids and we hold them to a Standard because we Love Them!
CF: Tell us about your playing experience both at Reading and at Mansfield University?
TG: Man… My playing experience in high school was amazing. We were practicing against All-State and Division 1 players everyday. The most important thing though is we built a brotherhood through football. My brothers from that 2000-2003 teams (Kalise Cook, Jaimie Laws, Nick Galan, Troy Butler, Nate Ocasio, Derek Crammer, Vince Jackson, Richard Hinnershitz, Sam Bryant, James Bryant, Javius Galan, Eric Garcia and Sean Gaul) saw me through my worst times.
Our college experience was rough but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I had some coaches who really changed my life. Coach Perry and Coach Likins for sure had a belief in me that was through the roof. Coach Schiffer taught me you can love through the game of football. We battled a lot of adversity especially when our program was taken away. But adversity creates perseverance… And perseverance creates character.
CF: What are your thoughts on the merger with the Lancaster-Lebanon League?
TG: I truly feel like Berks County Football is slept on. I heard a lot of things about the area but when I started coaching all I saw was ballers! Excited to see some teams we once competed with. Looking forward to it !
CF: Describe to all of us what a day in the life of Coach Godinet entails?
TG: My everyday life is honestly living within my culture. Fa’a Samoa… The Samoan Way! To be selfless and loving for the group of others and not just thinking about yourself. My everyday job as a safe school officer in the Reading School District is a choice I made to impact the lives of students outside of football as well as being a physical presence for our players. Even the motto of my fraternity Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated is Culture for Service, Service For Humanity. So I guess you can say I live to change lives and leave a legacy of footprints to follow.
Coach Godinet is excited for the challenge ahead of him and has a ton of support in the community behind him. Knowing Coach for as long as I have, if anybody is going to turn around the Red Knights it would be this man. Reading deserves someone with the roots, passion and fire that Coach Troy possesses, best of luck to him he has certainly earned the opportunity.