It’s the ninth game of the season Friday and the Granbury Pirates are playing for a share of the District 7-4A football lead.
Just four short seasons ago folks were excited when they came away with their first and only victory of the season in this same week, 13-9 at Joshua to end a 24-game losing streak.
That was also the first victory of Scotty Pugh’s head coaching career. He’s since won 17 more and guided the Pirates to three consecutive playoff berths, including this season.
Granbury (6-2, 4-1 in 7-4A) secured their postseason spot last week with a 56-18 homecoming victory against Trimble Tech. It was also their second straight homecoming win, something that had not been done since the 2001-04 seasons.
In other words, Granbury football has definitely turned a corner. The Pirates are bonafide contenders annually now.
But they would take the biggest step of all under Pugh if they could knock off the three-time defending state champion Aledo Bearcats Friday at Pirate Stadium.
“They are where we want to be,” said Pugh. “You look at everything they’ve done and how they’ve done it, and that’s without question the model for success.”
The Bearcats (7-1, 5-0) have won 42 consecutive district games. Last week they took sole possession of the top spot in the league with a 24-8 win at home over Southwest, a team that defeated the Pirates 42-24 the previous week.
But Pugh noted that as big as the Aledo game is, there are bigger games on the schedule – the playoffs.
“Win or lose Friday night, our season’s not over. Aledo is not the most important game we’ll play in the next three weeks,” said Pugh.
A win, however, would enhance the Pirates’ postseason spot. As the school with the largest enrollment in the district (1,887.5), they know they are going into Division I (big school), but they don’t know if they will be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
If Fort Worth Wyatt defeats Western Hills and Trimble Tech, two likely scenarios, the Chaparrals would enter Division II with Southwest and bump Aledo into Division I. That means Friday’s winner between the Pirates and Bearcats would be the No. 1 Division I entry from the district.
Either way, Pugh credited the Pirate program for going from seven victories in five years (2005-09) to being on the verge of seven wins this season. He also noted that the junior varsity is playing Aledo for the district championship Thursday night, following in the footsteps of the freshmen winning district in 2011.
“That’s so important that you get everyone on the same page and working for the same thing throughout the program,” he said. “We don’t just want a winning season here and there, we want continued success.
“If you look at someone like Aledo, they’ve got kids who are the latest in their family to play. We’ve got some of that here now, and that’s part of how you build a tradition of success.”
This will be the first meeting between the Bearcats and Pirates since Sept. 26, 2003, a 45-7 Aledo win in Granbury.
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