SNEADS, Fla. (WMBB)– The Sneads Pirates are gearing up for Friday night’s season opener with a roster filled with mostly upperclassmen.
Sneads head football coach Bill Thomas said there are 17 juniors and 13 seniors on the team.
“It’s probably the most juniors and seniors I’ve had on a football team since I’ve been here and it’s exciting I think they’re more mature too,” Thomas said.
In the first week of official practice, Thomas said players showed the coaching staff they were eager for kickoff.
“Normally in shells you really gotta rev them up to go hard and to get physical play it as close to going hard as you can and our guys we didn’t have to really rev um up,” Thomas said.
The Pirates’ large and physical offensive line should be a key to success this season. Thomas said it’s one of the best in Class 1A.
“We got really good size and all play hard so I think we have a good chance this year,” Sneads football player Zach Thomas said.
The line will pair well with senior running back Clavin Stringer. He has been the team’s leading rusher the past three seasons. He has rushed for more than 3,600 yards in 412 carries and has 50 touchdowns as a Pirate.
Stringer said he feels good about the guys who are blocking for him.
“I’m very confident already know looking forward to a lot of scores this year,” Stringer said.
Sneads will open up the season at Liberty County on Sept. 4.
Thomas said he and Bulldog’s head coach Greg Jordan have talked and they plan to adjust the opening game some with it being so soon after their first practices.
“We’re gonna do enough to get the excitement, get them in shape but we are going to adjust the way we play the game,” Thomas said.
When the Pirates return home for their home opener, fans will be allowed in the stands at 50 percent capacity.
“If we had 15 fans in the stand and just getting to play the game after everything that went on this summer you know it’s still great,” Thomas said.
This will be the final year senior Zach Thomas plays for his father Bill Thomas. The lineman said he’s glad he gets to have this final season being coached by his father.
“It’s pretty special, I’m very pleased to have this year with everything going on,” Zach said.