PETROLIA, Texas (TNN) - The Blitz on 6 preseason previews keeps moving with the Petrolia Pirates.
The Pirates had one of the toughest ends to 2018 after their numbers dropped too low and they had to forfeit their final two games.
This year they hope to hit the reset button, which a new head coach that has been in this position before.
“It’s critical the first year you go into any program that has been down a little bit," new Petrolia head coach Mitch McLemore said. "Which is not my first time, they have to understand and know that they can trust you. That you mean what you say, that there is accountability but it always comes with love behind it or along with it.”
And that is what McLemore is preaching, brotherhood and team over everything else and the players are bought in.
“Become a family again at Petrolia,” Petrolia junior QB Jake Tucker said.
“Just become family and join as one,” Petrolia junior lineman Brett Briscoe said.
“Day one I told them we have to love each other, don’t have to like each other, that’s a different thing," coach McLemore said. "But we have to love each other enough because we are all going to make mistakes, in life and in this game. So if we love each other the way we are supposed to, the way we are called to, then you gotta let the little things go.”
“He has brought us all together, he’s positive and he lifts us up, never puts us down," Briscoe said.
“He’s a great man, I’m proud to be his athlete," Tucker said.
So McLemore has done one of the hardest things, winning the locker room.
But now they want to win on the field and while some things will be different offensively, the mentality of the O-line is the same.
“Just be loud, hit hard, come out and blow people up, that’s all we can do," lineman Briscoe said.
On the other side of the ball Petrolia will look different as McLemore brings in his system that he has used in Texoma before.
“It’s gonna be pretty simple," McLemore said. "It’s something that we used to run (that) started at Knox City. Multiple front defense but it’s really simplistic in a lot of ways but it looks complicated to the offensive guys, it’s going to be aggressive.”
Like every team the Pirates have goals of making the playoffs and making a run at a state championship, but coach McLemore says his goals are building the foundation that will reap success.
“As coaches our job is to give them confidence in what they are doing and if they have confidence, that will leave," coach McLemore said. "Win, loss or tie, play the game it’s meant to be played, that’s the focus. Be great teammates and let go of the fear.”
Week 1: F 8/30 @ Chico 7:30pm
Week 2: F 9/6 @ Olney 7:30pm
Week 3: BYE
Week 4: F 9/20 vs Sacred Heart 7:30pm
Week 5: F 9/27 @ Alvord 7:30pm
Week 6: F 10/4 vs Hico TBD
Week 7: F 10/11 vs Ranger 7pm
Week 8: F 10/18 @ Electra 7pm
Week 9: F 10/25 vs Archer City 7pm
Week 10: F 11/1 @ Santo 7pm
Week 11: F 11/8 vs Windthorst 7pm