Sunday, July 14, 2024

Pirates return to spring ball, new coach likes results

Granbury’s new head football coach Bobby Hill leads the scrimmage.
Granbury’s new head football coach Bobby Hill leads the scrimmage.
Layth Taylor
Posted

For the first time in almost a decade, the sound of football pads colliding and coaches blowing whistles on a practice field could be heard in the month of May. Spring football returned to Granbury this year with a renewed excitement as Bobby Allison takes the helm of the program.

“It was exciting for our coaches, and especially our new coaches, to get out on the field with our kids,” Allison said. “Overall, it was beneficial for us to get out and have 17 football practices and a spring game. There was lots of progress and the kids had lots of fun.

“It has been about eight years since spring ball was done here, so it was new for lots of players, parents and the community.”

Allison was hired in December, taking over for Sonny Galindo, who served as the interim head coach for the 2023 season. Allison has two decades of experience at the high school level at Odessa, Sharpstown, Levelland, San Angelo Central and Northwest. He also spent two seasons as the special teams coordinator at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

Allison will bring to the program both a new offense and defense, which he said is critical for players to learn before beginning their first season under him and his coaches in the fall. He said they are implementing a spread offense that will utilize a tight end and a flexible defense that will be able to play three-down and four-down fronts.

“(They are) systems that are fun, simple and allow the kids to play fast,” he said.

He was pleased with what he saw as the players absorbed the new systems.

“I thought it was important to have spring ball and allow our kids to have as many practices as possible learning our new schemes, and they did a great job of picking these up,” he said.

Allison noted the Pirates have two returning defensive starters and four on offense, another reason for spring ball. He said now is the time to start finding out who will fill the remaining starting positions — along with who will be key reserves.

“It is so important for our younger players to start learning early to fill these roles. We had many younger players that really stepped up this spring and are ready to continue to work this summer,” he said.

The Pirates are entering a new league in the fall. They will be in District 3-5A Division I. It will include two-time defending Division I state champion (and 12-time overall champion) Aledo (16-0 in 2023), Richland (12-1, third round of playoffs), perennial power Denton Ryan (8-3, second round), Denton (4-7, bidistrict), Azle (3-7), Keller Fossil Ridge (3-7), Birdville (4-6) and Brewer (3-7).

“Almost every district in this area has its challenges and this one is no different,” Allison said. “It is one where you are going to have to be ready to play every single week and that is what is exciting about it.”

The Pirates are coming off a 3-7 season in which they started 3-0 before stumbling. Despite the inexperience of the squad, optimism is high for more in the fall, which Allison credited greatly to the players’ enthusiasm about the new changes.

“We have to focus on us and doing everything we can to be the best we can, and I can’t say enough of how our kids have already bought into this,” Allison said.

2024 Granbury Pirates football schedule

Scrimmage

Date TBD, Saginaw, site TBD

Predistrict

Aug. 30, Waco High, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6, at Waco University, 7 p.m.

District

Sept. 13, at Birdville, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20, Keller Fossil Ridge, 7 p.m. (senior night)

Sept. 26, at Denton Ryan, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11, Aledo, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18, at Richland, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25, Azle, 7 p.m., (homecoming)

Nov. 1, at Denton, 7 p.m.

Nov. 8, Brewer, 7 p.m.