2008 Team Insider: Shepherd Pirates

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Shepherd Pirates

The Shepherd Pirates have found the going tough for most of this decade. They have had just 2 winning seasons in the past 8 years (going 7-3 in 2004 and 6-4 in 2005) and have not seen the playoffs since 1999 (a 47-0 Bi-District loss to Crockett). They finished 1-9 last season and coach Shane Hanks hopes that with the help of 14 returning starters they can climb out of the cellar in 2008. Experience and Senior leadership will be the teams strong point.

Key Wins Last Year
Tarkington (49-26)

Last Year's Scores
East Chambers 35 Shepherd 0
Diboll 45 Shepherd 12
Crockett 46 Shepherd 0
Woodville 49 Shepherd 13
Corrigan-Camden 25 Shepherd 0
Shepherd 49 Tarkington 26
Coldspring 55 Shepherd 12
Cleveland 37 Shepherd 34
Splendora 32 Shepherd 25
Liberty 31 Shepherd 14

Offense

The Pirates return 6 starters on offense from their 2007 team that averaged 16 points per game. One of the offensive leaders for Shepherd will be TB Keondre Shaw. Another key component for the Pirate offensive attack will be found at the WR position in Jared Wilson. The offensive line will be led by Cory Rice. Shaw is a good runner and with most of the Line returning i could see the Pirates surprising a few teams in 22 3A. The strong point looks to be a Wide Reciever, as Wilson has very good hands and vision. Depth has always been an issue with the Pirates and i see no difference this season.

Other Key Players
None

Defense

The defense should be the strong point for the 2008 Pirates. They return 8 starters on that side of the ball. Last season the Pirates allowed 38 points per game on defense and will have to vastly improve that number to compete this season. The LB group for Shepherd will be a good one led by MLB Clint Riddle. Riddle collected 95 tackles last season and was a second team all-district selection. Joining Riddle at LB will be Cody Lane who came up with 83 tackles in 2007. Look for the secondary to also play a big role for the Pirate defense. FS Jesse Butler and SS Michael Flynn will lead the way. "Our Defense will be improved with all the returning starters said Coach Hanks".

Other Key Players
Kelley O'Brien (DE)
Raghib Ellisor (CB)

The Shepherd Pirates open the 2008 season at home against Magnolia West in Week 0. The following week they will take on the Caldwell Hornets at Sam Houston State's Bowers Stadium. They also have a tough road game at Hardin and face Woodville at home to close non-district play. Shepherd will begin 22-3A play on September 26 at home against Tarkington. Here is the complete 2008 schedule for the Shepherd Pirates……

Aug. 29 Magnolia West
Sept. 5 vs Caldwell at Sam Houston State
Sept. 12 @ Hardin
Sept. 19 Woodville
Sept. 26 Tarkington*
Oct. 3 @ Coldspring*
Oct. 10 Splendora*
Oct. 17 @ Cleveland*
Oct. 24 Liberty*
Oct. 31 @ Huffman*
Nov. 7 OPEN

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