PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY)–We start our Pender County preview with the county champs from 2018 the Topsail Pirates. The Pirates shattered expectations last season and went 9-3, which set a school records for wins in a season.
The expectations are once again high for Topsail headed into their 2019 campaign. The team returns both starting senior quarterback Cody Wallis and All-Conference running back Noah Lavalle. Last season the two seniors accounted for over 3,400 yards between them in 2018. They will look to lead a group of pirates into the fall with high expectations under Wayne Inman.
“Going into the off season we knew we didn’t have to match last year, we just needed to give our best in every single workout,”said Topsail senior Cody Wallis. “In doing that I’m confident that not only we will be as good as last year , but were going to be better.”
The Pirates will open up their 2019 regular season on August 23rd on the road at county rival Heide Trask.
The Pender Patriots will head into the fall trying to bounce back off of a tough 2018 season, where they finished with a 1-10 record. They know it won’t be easy to turn the program around in just one year, but the ingredients are there to get the job done.
“We can do it, but its going to take a lot of hard work,” said Patriots senior Seth Pyland. “We needed to get our numbers up and a lot of people have stepped up in doing that this season.”
When it comes to expectations for 2019, the Patriots want to bring it every day that they step on the grid iron.
“Its all about the daily grind, we don’t necessarily worry about what our opponents are doing,”says Pender head coach Tim Smith. “Its more about doing our job while learning our craft each and every day.”
The Patriots will start their season on the road at James Kenan on August 23rd.
There will be a fresh new face leading the Heide Trask Titans into 2019. Brandon Proctor takes over a Titans team that went 5-6 last year and just missed out on a playoff spot. The team plays in the always tough Coastal 8 Conference, with a loaded non-conference schedule, but their new head coach is excited about the future in Rocky Point.
“This is a school that has some really good athletes, and a tradition that has been built over time,”said Proctor. “If we can continue to get kids out here that will buy into the program that will key to our success.”
Bringing in a new head coach sometimes changes the scheme and play style of the team. One thing that won’t change though is the mentality that the players will bring from the first snap to the last.
“Were just going to practice everyday and work harder than the day before,”says Titan senior Ryan Gorham. “Whether we win or lose we will always be ready for our next opponent.”
The Titans open up their season hosting cross county rival Topsail on August 23rd in Rocky Point.