A sure sign of the progression of a program is when they practice, the talent they face is often better than what they will face in a game.
The Granbury Pirates have reached such a level, said head coach Scotty Pugh.
“That’s nice. Depth-wise we feel in all cases we’re two deep, and in most cases three deep,” said Pugh. “That makes for healthy competition and no taking plays off.”
Last season the Pirates featured 17 sophomores on their roster. This included starting quarterback (Ryan Suitt), a top receiver (Nick Doughty) and a perfect placekicker (Jacob Rose, 40-for-40 on PATs, 5-for-5 on field goals).
Those sophomores are now juniors with valuable experience. Also, the freshmen, coming off another strong season, are now sophomores battling for their right to stand out on the varsity.
“To us, it’s a great advantage,” said Pugh. “It tells us we’ve got a program.
“That’s the important thing. We still have the senior leadership, but when we graduate seniors, the cupboard’s not bare.
“The coaches and players are doing a great job at the middle schools working with our system and carrying it all the way up.”
SHORT WEEK AFTER SCRIMMAGE
The Pirates were in Stephenville last night for their annual scrimmage against their rival. Unlike other years, however, they only have until Thursday to finish preparations for their season opener.
Granbury travels to Wichita Falls High Thursday to open the season. They will face a Coyotes team that is coming off a 2-8 season, but returns six offensive and six defensive players.
One of those wins, however, was a 24-10 upset of the Pirates in Granbury. Despite holding quarterback Zack Murphy, one of the returning starters, to a 12-for-32 night, two of his completions went for long touchdowns.
“They’ll be slinging it around again, so we’d better be ready,” said Pugh.
“It’ll be interesting to see how we handle the short week, but it’s also a short week for them.
“But we’ve got our kids to the point now that we don’t worry about what we can’t control. It’ll be a good road trip and a good test for us.”
The Pirates rebounded from that upset to finish 7-4, the most victories since 1998. They also advanced to the playoffs for a third consecutive season, a feat accomplished only once previously in school history (1965-68).
MONITORING SOCIAL MEDIA
With many college coaches keeping a close eye on players’ access to Twitter and Facebook – or in some cases completely denying players access – the same question is being raised among high schools.
Pugh said he, like many coaches, is aware of the problems communication on these sites can create. He’s made one thing clear to his players.
“The best-case scenario is they stay off,” he said. “If not, no talk of anything football-wise is ever to be mentioned.”
Pugh said he is hesitant to monitor his players on a daily basis as there are more important issues to concentrate on – such as preparing for the next game. Still, he’s not turning a blind eye.
“For our kids, and just about every high school student, it’s a way of life,” he said. “If you write it, it’s there.
“There are consequences in place if they post the wrong thing. We’ll punish them. Me and the captains will decide what to do, and it will be taken care of.”
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