MATHIS, Texas — We have already reached Week 7 of the high school football season. But for the Mathis Pirates, it’s only Week 2.
The Pirates have a lot of catching up to do and here's why.
While sitting out the first half of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, the Pirates are playing the catch-up game.
They have been practicing for just a few short weeks.
But no worries as these Pirates refuse to feel sorry for themselves.
They still expect to be serious playoff contenders.
"Oh, I think when we start playing well, we are going to be firing on all cylinders,” Mathis coach Trae Stevens said. “We will give some people trouble."
The Pirates are playing a shortened six-game schedule and they are all district games against tough District 15-3A Division I opponents.
They lost their season opener to Palacios last week. It was their first live action since last season. Right now, game experience is their biggest challenge.
"Yeah, I think the biggest challenge in itself is getting back to game speed because as much as you condition, as much as you repetition in practice, you can never get it into game speed until you actually play a game,” Stevens said. “And that's what we need.”
There's actually some advantages to not playing games until now.
"Since they have a few more games on us, they are beat up, sore, bruised and facing injuries,” Mathis wide receiver/defensive back Matthew Cuellar said. “We have just been at home working out on our own and getting into shape ourselves and not having any major injuries.”
Just having a chance to play after the break is rewarding, according to Mathis defensive lineman Roland Sanchez.
“It's pretty exciting being back on the field,” Sanchez said. “We were really striving to come back out here and hungry for it.”
Up next for the Pirates will be a trip to Vanderbilt on Friday night to hook up with the Industrial Cobras, the favorites to win the district.