"Back to the Future" in Petrolia

It's another new season, and for the Petrolia Pirates, that means yet another new head coach.

This year, the Pirates are going "back to the future," bringing back 2008 head coach Byron Gravitt to take over the team.

"I'm a little bit of consistency for the kids, cause I have been here," Gravitt said. "All of these seniors have known me since they were sixth, seventh grade."

"He says he's going to be here for a long time," said senior running back/linebacker Will Morath. "He's not coming to just get good and then go to a bigger school."

Gravitt served as the Pirates' defensive coordinator the past two seasons after spending 2009 in Bowie.

It's Petrolia's fourth coaching change in five seasons, but at least this time it's someone familiar.

"He's been here for quite a while," said senior lineman Adam Sandoval. "We know him, we know his routine, we know what he wants from us."

"It is turnover, but I guess if there is such a thing as 'good turnover,' at least we're familiar with each other," Gravitt said. "They don't have to prove themselves all over. I know what the kids can and can't do.

Now that he's back in the head seat, the Pirates look to build on three wins last season and fight for a playoff spot.

That starts with a new, simpler offensive scheme, hoping to improve an offense that had one of Texoma's lowest per-game rushing totals last season.

"It's an aggressive, physical-type offense," Gravitt explained. "I think it fits our kids, they seem to be buying into it."

Morath said the learning curve is pretty quick. "We've only been running it since the first of two-a-days. It's an all-new offense but it's coming together pretty good," Morath said.

"It's not too difficult to where no one knows what we're doing."

Morath is one of the keys to that offense. He gained 824 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground last season.

"He's a really good athlete," Sandoval said of his fellow senior. "He's fast, he's strong, he's quick."

The two-year starter will be the main ball-carrier this season, but he's also counted on to be a team leader.

"He's really growing up and becoming a leader," Gravitt said. "That's something that he hadn't had to do the last few years, as a sophomore on varsity, and as a junior.

"I think he's done a good job with it, you know he's really become a leader for us."