Pirate Nation!!! It’s April and its spring. That means Pirate Spring Football!!!
That’s right, it’s that time again. Pirate Spring Football is underway!! With a new season comes a new team, and six year head coach Ruffin McNeill released a statement to press,“I’m excited to get started!”
The Pirates spring season kicked off on March 20th with workouts four days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and, Saturdays which will continue for four weeks. In between these workouts, the Pirates had their first scrimmage on March 28th.
The defense was quick to prove they are no joke, only allowing the Pirate offense to put up 3 touchdowns. The defense really put a hold on them. Between penalties and the three interceptions, the defense was able to put in work in the backfield holding the Pirates running game to an average of 3.7 yards per carry.
March 30th practice was postponed due to the weather and resumed April 1st. I met up with a couple of the players on April 1st “April Fool’s Day” but neither sophomore defensive back Travon Simmons or junior inside receiver Jimmy Williams had pulled any pranks that day. Jimmy did mention though that every day is April fools to him! For instance, tweeting out that it is one of his teammates birthdays which in fact it was not.
But, all jokes aside, Jimmy Williams said his favorite part of spring ball are the scrimmages, “They are more game like”.” “Live and fun”, is how he described scrimmages are with his boys. Being that he is on the offensive side of the ball and during the first scrimmage it was obvious the defense had the upper hand. I asked him what he thinks they need to do to slow them down. “It’s time to come together as an offensive. With having a new quarterback it’s a bit of a slower start and just getting everybody together on the same page.”
“Competing, having fun, being with the team” were a few of Travon Simmons favorite parts of spring ball. As for his strengths during that game, he personally thought his footwork and visual focus were on point. We would have to agree considering he got himself a pick which he returned 60 yards for a touchdown! “Tempo” is something he would say is more of a weakness for him, but as practices continue we will be watching his progress on that.
As far as the energy of the team Williams thinks in his opinion it’s been a bit up and down especially on his side of the ball, which we saw during the scrimmage. On the other hand, Simmons would describe the energy as more upbeat and electric since it’s been a while since they’ve all been playing ball really since the bowl game.
April 11th the Pirates will have another scrimmage and the Annual Purple and Gold spring game will be held on April 18th and look out for Williams with a touchdown and Simmons with a pick because both felt confident they were going to make it happen!