Two years removed from a winless season the 2020 Petrolia Pirates look to be one of Texoma’s most improved teams. They’ll once again be one of Texoma’s youngest teams.
Mitch McLemore enters his second season as Petrolia’s head coach and he enters with the expectations of returning the Pirates to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
In his first year at the helm, Petrolia improved by three wins.
“They’ve been through a lot,” said McLemore. “And the way they competed last year, other than the first couple games because of uncertainty, I couldn’t be prouder of them. The way the matured and gelled toward the end of the year. We simply weren’t where we wanted to be as far as competing with the Windthorst’s of the world. We expect to raise the bar and surprise a few people and compete very well this year.”
Caleb Henderson will play a major role. As a freshman he led the Pirates in rushing and he was the only freshman to earn first team all-district honors, doing so at linebacker. He is expected to be even better in 2020.
“If he would just follow us like we taught him last year to do,he would do just fine,” said offensive lineman Brett Briscoe. “He did fine at the end of last year because we taught him how to follow us.”
“If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t do what I do,” says Henderson. And they’re a big part of me getting to be an all right player.”
“Never came off the field,” said McLemore. “Never wanted to come off the field. Played exhausted at times. Brett Briscoe and several of them did the same thing. So, he’s just a warrior.”
The Pirates offensive line possesses that warrior attitude while sporting size and experience led by 2019 first team all-district lineman Brett Briscoe.
“I feel like our offensive line is gonna run with it because we all have experience,” said Briscoe.
“That’s where our strength is,” said McLemore. “I’ve already laid down the gauntlet to ’em and told ’em I’ve put on ya’ll. This is on ya’ll. There is no reason we can’t have one of the most competitive offensive and defensive lines in this area and our district at this level.”
The Pirates welcome three new members to the family in 2020. A trio of transfers from Henrietta – Reece Hensley, Quade West and Cooper Watson.