Setting The Tone At Petrolia

The preparation for Petrolia's 2011 football season began long before the team's first two-a-day. Many Pirate seniors organized player-only workouts in the summer.

"Those are some of those little sparks in programs when they're going in the right direction," head coach Billy Cook said. "Those things are big."

Petrolia is looking to bounce back from a tough 2-8 (1-4 in district) season. The Pirates were outscored 379-150 and went winless at home (0-5).

"It's motivated us a lot, because nobody wants that on their record," senior lineman Jared Smith said. "The seniors don't want to end another 2-8."

Head coach Billy Cook is relying on more experience and more confidence as the team looks to improve on that record. On defense, he says he's letting his kids play loose. On offense, the key is maintaining possession and simply putting the ball in the end zone. He's also looking for his special teams unit to go from good to great.

Those are all big hopes, but Cook says the off-season will help his team reach those goals.

"I'm a firm believer that you win the games in the spring and play them in the fall," Cook said. "Anytime you play with confidence in yourself, good things happen."

Petrolia kicks off the season on the road at Muenster Sacred Heart on Aug. 26th.