After a winless 2015 campaign there’s no place to go but up for the Pleasant Hope Pirates. And with a move from Class 2 to Class 1, second year head coach Scott Wolf feels confident his team will make strides this fall.
Head Coach: Scott Wolf (2nd year)
2015 Record: 0-10
Players to Watch: Chris Nibbelink (Sr QB/RB/WR), Jeremy Rotramel (So QB), Kaleb Lockhart (Sr OL/DL)
“We’re tweaking some little things on defense and offense to match our personnel, but the kids have come along well and they’re all in,” said Wolf.
“The biggest thing I’ve seen this year is the kids have come together as a unit more.”
Speed will be the biggest difference this season. The Pirates return six starters, including a trio of players who earned All-Mid-Lakes honors last year.
“In the past we’ve been more of a grind-it-out kind of offense, but this year we’ve added a little bit of speed, kids getting faster, maturing and we’re trying to utilize that speed.”
An early season injury left the Pirates in bad shape at the quarterback position last fall. Wolf is instituting a plan to avoid that issue this year with as many as four QBs getting work; something that should help the stability of the program for the next few years.
Chris Nibbelink is one of those who will see time at QB. Nibbelink is one of just five seniors who will be counted on for leadership. He and sophomore Jeremy Rotramel, who missed most of last season with injury, will lead the offense, that expects to see be more dynamic than last season.
“Those two provide use with speed, they’re track runners,” said Wolf. “We’re going to have some special packages to utilize that speed.”
The offensive line should be improved from last season as well. Senior Kaleb Lockhart anchors that group at left tackle.
“He (Kaleb) provides us that physical presence, and we’ve got two or three other linemen that also are coming along very well (Dalton Presley, Wyatt Chapman).
Baby steps for Pleasant Hope this fall, but Wolf and the Pirates have high hopes that 2016 is the year things get headed in the right direction.
“Every week is going to be a challenge and we’re going to go out and compete every week and hopefully we’ve gotten a lot better. We’ll see.”
Pleasant Hope opens the season Fri. Aug. 19 at non-conference Hollister.