PHOENIX—The Pirates have their fair share of roster turnover heading into the new football season.
They lose 12 seniors, three of whom are now playing college football.
Yet the momentum is overall positive, and after a forgettable 2016 that saw them go 2-6, they responded last year and were a top-10 team by the end of the season.
Head coach Jered Gail thinks his group can be just as explosive in 2018, but its ultimate success will depend on the play of the lines.
"We're not at the same spot at this point in the year up front on the O-line or the D-line but we are ahead of some other areas with the skill guys,” he said. “We feel good about that, it's a matter of the maturing of the O and D-line guys and getting them some reps and getting them going."
At the quarterback position, Jered is tasked with replacing his son, Javan.
It’s no easy feat considering the offense he orchestrated last year, but Pirates fans can rest easy, knowing their future star under center has been groomed personally by the former starter.
"Javan's been helping me all summer with my reads and stuff,” senior Dalton Samis said. “I think the difference between me and Javan is I'll tuck it and run faster than he would. Javan would sit in the pocket longer. If it collapses, I'm trying to extend the play and get outside when Javan's looking downfield. I think that's the biggest difference between me and him."