Rickards’ Loriston emerges as top receivers coach
By Robyn Murrell
Playing college football was a childhood dream for Petrus Loriston, but he didn’t get there without attempting one of the toughest decisions a die-hard Miami Hurricane fan could make.
His first opportunity was a chance to play at Florida State. But before he could settle for being a walk-on at FSU, he saw his best shot being at FAMU where he was offered a guaranteed scholarship.
He became one of the RAC Boys under coach Billy Joe during an era when the Gulf Coast offense was lethal.
Today Loriston is one of the most sought-after position coaches in high school football. During the past 12 years he’s coached at four schools, three in the Big Bend area. He is currently a receivers coach at Rickards High School.
While Loriston has produced some of the best receivers that have gone on to major programs, he had to take a longer route. With no offers, he enrolled at Tallahassee Community College.
All the time, worked out with FAMU and FSU players during summertime drills in 2003. It was during one of those workouts that he caught the eye of legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden and later College Hall of Fame coach Billy Joe.
Bowden suggested he try to walk-on with the Seminoles, but just before he could do that, Joe came into the picture. His offer was one that Loriston couldn’t refuse.
Nowadays Loriston wants every one of his players to position themselves for the same opportunities he’d had. In the process, he developed a style of coaching with and without the football.
Former Raiders receiver Chad Hunter is a beneficiary of Loriston’s philosophy. He signed this past spring to play at FAMU.
What he learned from Loriston will go a long way, Hunter said.
“He told me it’s going to be hard and just stay focused,” said Hunter. “He told me it’s a lot of females out here. He said, stay focused on the books and football and get done what I need to get done. Know why I came here.”
Loriston is so good at what he does that when Quintin Lewis took over the Rickards program he retained him to coach receivers.
“He really gets his guys to pay attention to detail and focus on executing their job,” Lewis said. “He’s also very vital in coming up with the weekly pass schemes which helps us be successful on Friday nights.”
Lewis credits Loriston for helping to turn the program around from a program that went 1-9 in 2011 to one that has consistently made the playoffs. Loriston wants to see the program go farther.
Then, he’d like to one day take his coaching career to the next level.
Loriston admittedly has considered pursuing his dreams of becoming a head coach and moving up to the college level. But he believes there is some unfinished business at Rickards.
“This year we have big dreams, big goals,” Loriston said. “This year we feel like it’s our year; our time.”