We caught up with Nate Craig, Pasco 2016 ATH. The popular recruit is a key contributor on both sides of the ball and the #1 threat opposing teams must stop in order to give them a better chance to overthrow the Pirates.
Pasco is 2-2, 0-1 in the district. They lost the season opener 17-6 to Sunlake and last Friday’s game, 29-28 to Nature Coast. The last time Pasco lost 2 games in the same season was 2009 (9-2 District Champions).
2010 11-1 District Champions
2011 13-1 District Champions, Regional Champions
2012 12-1 District Champions
Note: In Pasco’s 2 losses, the Pirates have fumbled the ball 10 times and lost 8 of them.
So this is “Kinda like” a big deal. Outsiders would think the sense of urgency is at an all time high for Pasco this week. District opponent, South Sumter comes to Dade City this Friday and if Pasco loses, they would be 0-2 in the district and likely have a very low chance of making the playoffs. That would be the first time in the Tom McHugh (Pasco Head Coach 2007-current) era the Pirates would not see the post season.
Craig states that the team is working hard and focused on Friday’s opponent, “This week we are just trying to prepare as much as we can for our opponent. “
“Everyone” knows, to beat Pasco: Get to QB Grant Starling, limit ATH Malik Johns and contain Nate Craig. Nate is very aware that he is “That Guy” for the Pirates and embraces his role as a playmaker. He has also come to the realization that he is a team leader, “Guys on the team look at me as a leader and I think I should step up more and help my team win even if they need me to play on the line.” That may be the case against South Sumter. A team, which has not scored less than 38 points in any given game this season and have only, allowed 29 points. 3 games were shutouts. Nate’s best effort is going to be needed!
“Well, you know we’re just coming closer as a team and we have this new thing we say ‘F.A.M.I.L.Y.’ Because, I think a lot of us have been trying to do too much and not trusting our teammates and trying to be individuals,” says Nate Craig when asked how is the locker room handling the 2 losses.
This is unfamiliar territory for Pasco fans and this 2013 team. They are not accustomed to being the underdog and true team character will be revealed this Friday Night. The Pirates are in for a fight and are willing to battle. Who will be standing at the end of the night as the victor?