Written By: Sven Alskog
This season Hagerman will be experiencing one of those rare years where every player returns from the previous group that took the field.
One notable change has occurred however, with Nic Jayo taking over as the head coach for the Pirates. Jayo served as an assistant for the program the last two seasons, so there will still be plenty of familiarity there.
He is excited about the team he has in place.
“This group is hungry to do better than they had last season, and with some additions, we did not lose anyone. Rennick Moore didn’t play last year during his freshman year and is coming out to be a good role player on both sides of the ball for us. This group has been playing together for the three years I have been here and are building more chemistry with each other and the coaching staff,” added Jayo.
A new-look offense will be led by skill position talents like Bryant Osborne, Chris Belem, AB Salas and Codey McCrorey, with center Jesse Titone expected to make a big impact in the middle of the line as well.
Jayo highlighted players like Belem, McCrorey, Titone and Isaac Rowley as standouts this offseason, saying they have been living in the weight room and really bought into the program as a whole.
That hard work shows that Hagerman knows what it will take to get to the playoffs and make a run.
“This team understands that nothing will be handed to them and we need to do our parts in hard work and dedication to bring to the table in being successful,” said Jayo.
Linebackers Derek Herrington and Ryan Nelson are joined by defensive lineman Isaac Rowley to form a strong front of a revamped defense.
Communication will be a key for the Pirates to slow down their opponents, along with guys being in the right place at the right time within the system, which has been a major emphasis area this offseason.
“Knowing your assignment and doing your job as one of our players. We should be able to put anyone in any position and they should know what to do,” said Jayo.
Having a larger coaching staff should make a big difference as well, allowing for more individual attention.
“We doubled our staff from two to four this season. We have a young staff, but a staff that is on the same page with a common goal for this group of young men,” explained Jayo.
The Pirates get the season started with two big tests against Murtaugh and Dietrich. If Hagerman can win one or both of those games, the expectations will slowly start to rise for what this team can do within the Sawtooth Conference.