Last year was a difficult season for the Morro Bay High football program.
The Pirates won just one game, finishing with a 1-9 record, and the team’s starting quarterback, leading rusher and leading receiver all graduated.
On top of all that, Morro Bay head coach John Andree stepped down, promoting 15-year defensive coordinator Jack Greer to the top spot.
“Last year’s season, where we went 1-9, obviously that was a very difficult season,” Greer said. “They saw what happened last year.
“We had some dynamics within the team that did not go over well. We saw the interactions and the lack of cohesiveness. We need to bring more passion to the field every day. We need to bring more up-tempo practices every day. If I’m saying it, if my captains are saying it, and if it’s filtering down to the juniors and the sophomores, then hopefully that will lead to a successful season.”
The undoubted leader of the team is Jake Beavers, a three-year starter at linebacker and team captain. He led the Pirates defense last year, with 94 tackles, 31⁄2 sacks, four fumble recoveries and an interception.
Morro Bay has another three-year starter at linebacker in Kaine Davis, who was second on the team in tackles a year ago.
Beavers’ hope is that the experience in the middle of the defense can shake off last year’s disappointing record.
“That’s fueling the fire right now,” Beavers said. “We wanted to change things. We’re all striving for the same goal, and that’s to be a great team and win games.”
On offense, the Pirates will look to senior quarterback and first-year starter Jordan Bray, who was 7 for 16 for 40 yards passing with two interceptions in spot duty last season.
“Jordan, even if he is a little bit on the shorter side, his heart, without a doubt, is bigger than anyone’s on the Central Coast,” Greer said. “He is the epitome of a true leader, on and off the field. Hopefully as long as he keeps maturing, learning what the offense is, everything’s gonna be well.”
Sharing the backfield with Bray is junior running back Tristan Collins. Collins averaged almost seven yards a carry last season, finishing with 630 yards and six rushing touchdowns.
Also returning on offense is wide receiver Zach Smith and tight end Dan Beavers, both of whom are juniors.
“Right now, we’re putting in a new offense and we’re really clicking good,” Jake Beavers said. “We’re not going to try and trick anyone, we’re gonna run downhill and try and get some hardearned yards.
“We’re going to be in there. We definitely have the talent and the work ethic to be a playoff team. We’re gonna go out their and play as hard as we can and hopefully come out on top.”