The non-District 4A-4 portion of season has came to an end, and I really believe the Poteau Pirates should be awarded passing grades in all areas. In fact, I believe they should make the Honor Roll. Here's my grades for each group.
Offensive line — A. This group of student athletes are the motor that causes the Poteau Pirates offense to roll. I think I'll make that an A+ due to the depth. The first line is very strong and the subs that fill in are improving. The coaches are not afraid to make changes in personnel.
Receivers — B+. The Pirates have multiple different rotations that they can employ. Jay Werner has been their main target, and he usually draws a double team. Blake Johnson and Tyler Tustin are deep threats, and can catch the ball in a crowd. Dylan Stone has made two deep catches to keep drives alive.
Running backs — B+. I know, that a lot of you think I am crazy for giving the running backs a B+, but all the backs who are carrying the ball are underclassmen — and will improve greatly over the season and in future years. Poteau has an outstanding duo at tailback. Roger Barcheers has risen to the top of the running back pecking order, and, even though he was unstoppable in the previous three years, he is running against players that are up to four years older than he is. Barcheers' smallish stature is misleading. If you don't make a clean tackle, he will keep his legs churning and carry people with him. He has 344 yards at the end of three games. Then, too, anytime he needs a breather, the Pirates do not hesitate on calling No. 35 Cord Lawrence to tote the ball. Lawrence runs well in a crowd. Mason Jones and Dylan Wiles are the fullbacks, and are primarily used as blockers — but they can give you good yards.
Quarterback — B+. Jace Pitchford is one of the most athletic players on the team. However, sometimes his eagerness to make great play instead of a good play gets into trouble. He is a great runner and is improving as a passer.
Defensive Line — A. What makes this an A is the sheer fact Poteau is so deep that it can parade up to eight players through the line.
Linebackers — A+. Michael Reynolds, Carlos Aguliar, who has 32 tackles, and Kaydon Evans, who has 30 tackles, and Lawrence are perhaps the best part of the Pirates' defense.
Secondary — B. Even though they have played three spread offensives so far, this unit hasn't been tested, like it will be tested Friday night.