CHILTON, Texas — The Chilton Pirates went on a tear following the end of the regular season in 2020. Now, they hope the momentum carries over into a new season.
The Pirates made it all the way to the regional semifinals of the state 2A-II playoffs after coming in third in district play. Then, they qualified for the state 7-on-7 tournament for the first time in program history.
All that extra time together has paid off, according to coaches.
"We've got a saying around here that idle hands are the devil's workshop," Chilton Head Coach Chris James said. "So any time we can keep those guys busy, we know they're doing the right thing and doing what they're supposed to be doing and where they're supposed to be."
This is James's fourth year at the helm for the Pirates, meaning this year's senior class is the first one he has coached all the way through high school.
A majority of their senior leaders compose a core group of skill position players, the same ones who competed at the 7-on-7 tournament. That group brings an element of athleticism which leaves coaches optimistic about their chances in 2021.
"Those guys know what's expected of them," James said. "And sometimes it's better when it's player led than when it's coach led."
The Pirates goal this season is the same as any other season: do better than the year before. That will be a tough task, given they compete in the same district as Top 15-ranked Bremond and perennial state No. 1 Mart.
Chilton opens the season on the road against Rice.