BRADENTON, Fla. - 2nd year Braden River football head coach Curt Bradley is in the same boat as his Pirates football team: he is young, but he has a season of experience under his belt.
The good thing about last year, besides the fact that the Braden River Pirates ended the season with their lone win, was the fact that players were thrown into the fire. "We lost some valuable seniors with some young guys coming back. Expect to have a much more competitive season; put some more wins in the win column."
So now the Pirates have a little depth and experience to go with their talent. The wide receiving corps has 3 excellent receivers in Justin Ross, Andre Mayes and Lou Zeibel.
“We've upgraded at the skill position since last year, got some younger guys that developed. Some other guys came in from other places. Dusty Peebles will be our quarterback, with Jake Huisman developing well."
Peebles will hand off to newcomer Titus Humphrey, who is a big strong back, and to Caleb Ford, a quick, elusive runner.
"We really do have a lot of talent. We have 3 running backs that can catch the ball. I'm actually new here, but I feel we are going to do big things," says Humphrey.
"My expectations for this year is we are going to do a lot better than last year. We going to show up, and get it done," says Ford.
On defense, they are led by standout linebacker Marcus Balliette, and another newcomer in Justin Rawlins. "We have a very strong team this year. I expect us to do a lot better than previous years; stop the run, don't allow them to get deep balls, and one drive at a time. Our defense is pretty strong this year," says Rawlins.
The young but big offensive line will lead them into battle against Pinellas Park in their Kickoff Classic game this Friday, and then host North Fort Myers to open the season on August 30th.