FFN Countdown Day 25: Cedarville Pirates
Coach: Mark Shelton
2012: 5-6, 3-4
Returning Starters: 8 OFF/9 DEF
Sept. 6 Mountainburg
Sept. 13 at Conway Christian
Sept. 20 Waldron
Sept. 27 at Atkins
Oct. 4 at Danville
Oct. 11 Lamar
Oct. 18 Paris
Oct. 25 at Mansfield
Nov. 1 Charleston
Nov. 8 at Lavaca
Cedarville bounced back from a winless 2011 season to win five games and reach the playoffs last season. Now the Pirates are ready for more.
“We put a lot of hard work in this summer,” senior quarterback Dylan Shelton said. “Everybody was up here. We just got bigger, faster, stronger.”
“We just busted our tail,” senior lineman Jake Sharum said. “We came up here every day, worked hard. Just do what we had to do to get better.”
“Came up here as many times as we could and every time worked as hard as we can and had a whole bunch of people come up and work,” senior tackle Hunter Frazee said.
Shelton threw for more than 2,500 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and is one of eight starters back on the offensive side of the ball. Austin Soehlman rushed for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Alex Cantrell caught 37 passes for 664 and two touchdowns last season.
Though coach Mark Shelton has 17 total starters returning, he said Monday’s first practice was typical for the first day of the season.
“First day of practice, typical first day,” Shelton said. “Some things looked really, really good. Some things looked a little sloppy. But I think we’re going to be ok.”
The Pirates were bounced in the first round of the playoffs and should be in the mix for another postseason berth coming out of the always tough 3A-4.
“Well, definitely playoffs for sure is one of the goals,” Shelton said. “But I think the biggest thing these kids have set their mind to is be the best possible team they can. If that’s a district championship great. If that’s a couple rounds deep in the playoffs. They just want to be the best they can possibly be.”
Cedarville kicks off the season against Crawford County rival Mountainburg on Sept. 6.