Coach: Michael Hertz, fourth season (25-15)
2018 Record: 10-5, 5-2 in Southwestern 4A
Returning Starters: Offense, 2; Defense, 9
Inside the Huddle
In each of his three seasons, coach Michael Hertz has increased the Pirates’ win total. Hertz led Porter Ridge to 10 wins and a regional final appearance last year, but he will have to retool after having to replace much of the offensive firepower from a season ago.
New quarterback Mason Cox can rely on the Pirates’ three-headed rushing attack that will feature Kirkland Harris, Brandon Perry and Alex Chapman. All three will receive significant carries.
The Pirates will look to throw a little more, and Nick Horstkamp should be one of the main beneficiaries of that.
Up front, Sean Ahaotu-Simelane and Jason Gonzalez are Porter Ridges’ only two returning starters, but the Pirates like what they’ve seen from the offense as a whole.
While the offense is inexperienced, the Pirate defense is the opposite with nine starters back.
All-conference end Davidson Carroll headlines a defensive front that gets after opposing quarterbacks.
He’s joined by Chris Capers, Malik Jordan and John Gamoneda.
The linebackers are fast and explosive behind all-conference pick Dylan Burdette. The secondary is another strength with Harris, King, Perry and Chapman pulling double duty.
The Pirates will look much different on offense, but these guys have patiently waited for their chances to star Friday nights. Harris, Perry and Chapman will have big years on both sides of the ball. If Cox and the passing game keep up, they could have another banner year in the Southwestern 4A.
QB: Mason Cox; RB: Brandon Perry; RB: Kirkland Harris/Alex Chapman; WR: Nick Horstkamp; WR: Tom Mulroy; WR: Anthony McClintock; LT: Sean Ahaotu-Simelane; LG: Jason Gonzalez; C: Damien Jackson; RG: Noah Carnes; and RT: DJ Smith.
DE: Cristopher Capers; DE: Davidson Carroll; DT: Malik Jordan; DT: John Gamoneda; LB: Connor Henderson; LB: Dylan Burdette; CB: Amani Miller; CB: Kirkland Harris; S: Justin King; S: Brandon Perry; and S: Alex Chapman.
K: Braeden McAlister; P: Braeden McAlister; P Ret: Brandon Perry/Nick Horstkamp; and K Ret: Kirkland Harris.