By Clayton Chaney
This weekend the Pagosa Springs High School Pirate football team will be traveling to Granby to take on the Middle Park Panthers. The game is set to kick off this Saturday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m.
According to the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), nearly 80 percent of schools in the state decided to play this fall rather than next spring (season C).
The fall season will consist of six games, five of which are conference games. This weekend’s game against Middle Park will be the only regular-season nonconference game for the Pirates this year.
According to an article released by CHSAANow.com containing preseason rankings for teams across the state, the Pirates are ranked seventh in the 2A division for the start of the season.
This year, the Pirates are under the direction of new head coach Nathan Morales.
This is Morales’ second year with the Pirate football program. Last year, Morales was part of the assistant coaching staff that helped take the Pirates to the playoffs.
As it has been a year of uncertainties, students have been forced to adjust to the ever-changing conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked in a phone interview if the unusual start to the school year has affected the team, Morales responded, “I think they’re handling it just fine.”
Morales added that the team’s motto for this year is to “control the controllable,” a motto the kids came up with on their own.
Morales later mentioned the team is “looking to add on to what we’ve been building the last few years in Pagosa.”
According to Morales, there are quite a few of returning players, including 13 seniors on this year’s roster.
Morales stated, “We have good leadership … we lost some good kids with leadership, but the kids this year stepped right up for the role.”
The coach added, “There have been good attitudes and good effort in practice, and I’m excited to see what that does for our season.”
Last year, the Pirates ended the season with an overall record of 5-5 and a conference record of 4-0, which won their league and clinched a playoff spot.
Pagosa was knocked out of the first round of playoffs by the Delta Panthers, who went on to lose in the championship game.
Despite the shorter schedule, Morales explained he is excited for this season as the team hopes to build off of its successful season last year.
The following schedule for Pirate football was accurate as of Wednesday, Oct. 7, but is subject to change.
The Pirates will travel on Oct. 10 to take on the Middle Park Panthers at 2 p.m.
On Oct. 15, the Pirates will be home to take on the Alamosa Mean Moose at 7 p.m.
The Pirates will then travel to face the Bayfield Wolverines on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.
On Oct. 31, Pagosa will be home to take on the Lamar Savages at 2 p.m.
The following week, on Nov. 6, Pagosa will be home again to take on the La Junta Tigers at 5 p.m.
On Nov. 14, the Pirates will travel to Manitou Springs to face the Mustangs at 1 p.m.