Injuries can turn a good season into a disappointing one very quickly. Last year started well for the Deweyville Pirates with three wins in their first five games, but a string of injuries caused them to go winless the remainder of the season.
Coach Brandon Prouse said the goal is to turn that around this season, and he has some skilled players back to lead the Deweyville offense. After being out of football for a season Nate Buxton has come back and will start at quarterback for the Pirates. He started ten games as a sophomore and will be a big plus for Deweyville’s offense.
Two-year letterman Gavin Buxton will move from tailback to fullback this year. Ty Collier another letterman will be moved to the backfield. Dillon Fears will be a utility guy in the Pirates’ backfield. Cade Watson has a little speed at tailback. Prouse exclaimed, “Real excited about the backfield.”
Deweyville will be very young in the offensive line. Senior Landon Thompson will be the stalwart for the Pirates in the line which will be composed with a lot of sophomores.
Playing in Class 2-A football, Prouse reminds only the positions change when you are talking about starters on the defensive side of the football. Nate Buxton will start at free safety. Gavin Buxton will play a corner and outside linebacker for Deweyville.
Fears will be the other safety or roll down as an outside backer. Collier is expected to start at linebacker. Thompson will be the leader on the defensive line as well. “Really the same names, same type kids, but the way we train and the way we practice they get ready for it,” Prouse explained.
Coach Prouse is excited about his sophomore class of Pirates who are already assuming leadership roles with the Deweyville seniors. There will be some youth playing for the Pirates this year.
No coach wants injuries for his players. Injuries last season may pay dividends this year as many of the sophomores saw a lot playing time as replacements when starters went down with ailments.
Leading the Pirates in the trenches will be Nathan Parker and Luis Gonzalez. Bryce Raymer has not played football at Deweyville since eighth grade. He is one of the strongest youngsters in the program.
Dylan Elmore and Ryan Bland will spell Ty Collier and Gavin Buxton at tailback and fullback to give them a breather. Ryan came on really strong at the end of last season with 300 yards and two touchdowns. Prouse praised, “We’re real excited to have him back, he had a really good off season and so we look to have great things out of him.”
Deweyville’s district opponents are good, but Prouse is optimistic the Pirates will compete and make the playoffs. The San Augustine Wolves have been the big dogs in district, but the other team play on a pretty level field. Shelbyville got hot last season in the district winning several down to the wire games. A repeat of that streak is not expected again.
West Sabine has graduated its best player so the Tigers will probably return to the pack. Hull-Daisetta lost its two best running backs. Prouse believes every Friday night everybody can beat any other team. “It gives you something to play for every Friday night because in the end we’re all trying to get to a playoff spot, and I think we have a really good shot at it,” Prouse concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-