By Chris Parker
Josh Evans enters his second season as head coach of the Pleasant Hope Pirates. He is looking to lead Pleasant Hope to its first win since 2016.
Four players will be key to the Pirates turning things around this season according to Evans.
“Ian Burdette, Chris Burdette, Matthew Hershberger, and James Moody have been our most consistent players this off-season,” Evans said. “They have worked harder day in and day out than everyone else. They are going to be responsible for the culture shift that is happening on this team.”
Matthew Burdette is a senior who will play up front on the line. He was named honorable mention all-conference last season. Moody is a freshman who will see tie at quarterback and wide receiver.
Senior Brendle McDaniel will also see time at quarterback along with running back. Ryver Labee is a junior who will play wide receiver.
Seniors Preston Carpenter-Ford (lineman) and Cody Mitchell (linebacker) are two more key players to watch for Pleasant Hope. Mitchell was an honorable mention all-conference selection at running back last year.
As Evans is working to rebuild Pleasant Hope, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided another obstacle.
“It has been difficult. We struggled when everything was shut down, getting the workouts out to kids and making sure they were doing them. Thankfully we haven’t had anything that would completely shut down all of our operations,” Evans said.
Evans has high expectations for his players this year both on and off the field.
“I expect a lot from the boys. I expect the best grades that our team has ever had. I expect the least amount of character issues our team has ever had, and I expect the most wins our team has ever had,” Evans said.
Pleasant Hope opens the season on Aug. 28 at home against Marionville.