While the Crandall Pirates have looked good in their first two weeks of football practice this year, there’s “1,000 miles to go” before the end of the season and post-season play, Head Coach Joe Cary told his players last week as the team was preparing for the Aug. 30 opener against Chapel Hill, followed by the Sept. 6 cross-county rivalry with the Kaufman Lions. This year, they’re hoping for clear weather during the game against Kaufman, which last year was finally called off after a lightning storm forced the teams to wait in their locker rooms for hours on end.
Cary hopes the team’s perseverance and hard this summer will pay off.
“Anything that’s majestic, anything that’s beautiful, anything that’s worth something, takes time,” he said to his team during practice last week. This year’s team has more experienced players on defense, and they hope to use that strength to improve on last year’s impressive 7-3 record that ended with a loss to Henderson in the bi-district game.
Coaching for his sixth year at Crandall, Cary said his goals for the team this year are to win the season opener, take the district championship, then be poised for a deeper run into playoffs.
He’s looking to Luke Spitzer and Calob Davis to lead the team on defense, with Holt Reese taking the lead as quarterback. Spitzer and Davis said their teammates are ready for the task, and Reese said the offensive linemen are stepping up their game, as well. Gabe Cortez, a senior fullback, said this year’s players have the right attitude to make the playoffs.
‘They’re wanting to play, and they’re wanting to win,” Cortez said.
Added Davis: “We have a lot of determination to work as a team.”
This year’s district games are all in the final half of the season, finishing Nov. 8 against Athens.