The Granbury Pirates’ spring football workouts came to a close Friday with the annual Purple-Gold Game, held this year at Pirate Pavilion.
The game was moved indoors because of a thunderstorm that hit the area shortly before the start.
Oddly enough, it seemed somehow fitting for this year’s spring game, the latest adjustment in a challenging spring football season.
Several practices were called off as members of the team helped with the recovery effort from the tornado that ripped through Rancho Brazos on May 15.
“Today, more so than any other day, felt game-like,” said Pirate head coach Scotty Pugh.
“That first morning after the tornado, about 50 or 60 got out on their own and did things to help. Our guys really wanted to help and do all they could for the community.
“It makes you stop and put things in perspective. Remember, it’s a game. There are a lot more important things out there.”
Still, Pugh called spring workouts and the spring game “a nice distraction.
“A lot of our kids were affected, and this can help take their minds off the hard times for at least a little while.”
SPRINGBOARD TO THE FALL
While the fall season may seem a while away, now is the time to seriously start preparing, said Pugh.
“This is a springboard for us going into the summer, and this has got to carry over,” he said.
“We had a good spring, a challenging spring, but a good spring. But it’s all based on momentum, and if you don’t keep the momentum you build right now, it does you no good in the fall.”
Defensive coordinator B.J. Carlton said, “In the spring we’re looking for that special energy level, those guys who are able to get motivated even when it gets monotonous playing the same guys.
“Intrinsically motivated kids are what we are looking for in the spring.”
Among the ways the Pirates will keep working out is once again participating in 7-on-7 football, Pugh said. It will be coordinated by former Granbury assistant coach Dirk Suitt and former Pirate wide receiver Tyler Wright.
Suitt’s son Ryan will be a junior next season and is the Pirates’ quarterback. He passed for nearly 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, his first as a starter.
Wright was one of the top receivers in Texas as a senior for the Pirates, catching 45 passes for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns in 2010. He was instrumental in helping the Pirates end a bidistrict drought of more than three decades, starting them on their current run of three straight playoff appearances.
“I like keeping it in the family,” said Pugh.
“It’s a fun time for everybody, and the kids get better as a result of 7-on-7.”
Quarterback and receiving are solid, and it appears after spring workouts that the running back position could be also.
Sophomore-to-be Payton Gilmore made some heads turn during spring workouts.
“If we started the season now he’d be a starter,” said running backs coach Trent Phillips. “He is an impressive player.”
Phillips also had great praise for junior-to-be Jacob Rose.
“He fits in well. We’ve got kind of a dual threat,” he said.
The Pirates have a void at running back following the graduation of Justice Love, who was one of the top scorers in the Metroplex last season (16 TDs, 96 points) with over 1,100 yards of offense.
Rose was also one of the most prolific kickers around, posting a perfect season. He was 40-for-40 on extra points and 5-for-5 on field goals with a long of 44 yards.
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