Thus, Pendleton had mixed emotions about the Firebirds' 10-0 rout of the Bulldogs on Saturday at Wyandotte.
"It bothers me to see them struggle," Pendleton said. "I started that program, so it's not a good feeling. You feel you have some responsibility, and they're struggling."
Free State (2-1) dominated. The Firebirds led 4-0 after 20 minutes and 7-0 at halftime. The game ended about 15 minutes into the second half on the mercy rule.
Nick Ens, Nick Giannakis and Andrew Huffman each scored two goals for FSHS, while Joel Beard, Bryan Spangler, Joel Angelone and Paul Becker each had a goal. Ens and Beard each had two assists, while Giannakis, Kayvon Sarraf and Zak Sears contributed an assist each.
"The kids were really unselfish," Pendleton said. "We had seven assists on 10 goals. We didn't have guys trying to dribble through people."
Justin Howell earned the first-half shutout in goal and was relieved at halftime by Danny Affalter.
The Firebirds will travel to Leavenworth on Tuesday.