Fall football season is still a few months away, but don’t tell Granbury Pirate coach Scotty Pugh that is when things begin to count.
He’s a firm believer that a major reason the Pirates have enjoyed the success of recent years is the way they have played in spring football.
The Pirates have advanced to the postseason in three consecutive years for the first time since the mid-1960, when they got there from 1965-68. And it’s okay with Pugh if folks are already talking about matching that streak next season.
“I don’t think it’s ever too early,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of kids back. Of course, we lost a lot of good kids, but we’ve got a lot of good ones back and we’re looking forward to mixing them with the young kids.
“That’s what spring football is all about, getting ready for the fall.”
Spring football ended with the annual Purple-Gold Game, which was played last night at Granbury Middle School.
Once again the Pirates had a strong turnout for the spring, with about 200 incoming freshmen through seniors reporting. Pugh said he expects perhaps as many as 100 more coming out befor the fall.
Last season the Pirates featured many sophomores on their roster. The likes of quarterback Mason Suitt and receiver Nick Doughty matured quickly as they and several others sophs played key roles in helping the team return to the postseason and finish 7-4, the most wins since 1998.
“We’ve got a lot of kids back that we threw in the fire last year,” said Pugh.
Among the spots Pugh is watching closely between now and the fall are running back, inside linebacker and the secondary. And, as is his style, he’s leaving the competition open for as long as he can.
“We always go in saying 22 spots are open,” he said. “We’ll be looking at all spots. This is an opportunity for us to go back and take a closer look at everyone.”
For the first time since he became coach in 2008, the Pirates return their starter at quarterback, Suitt. And while he, like everyone else, will have to battle to keep that starting job, Pugh said, he does like the luxury of the returning experience for a change.
“It’s the first time we’ve had this situation since we’ve been here,” said Pugh, adding that he believes the Pirates are reaching a position of reloading instead of rebuilding.
“The good ones, Aledo, Stephenville, they never rebuild, but reload, and we are getting there.”
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