With the 2020 season opener just a week away, Pierce County head coach Ryan Herring is more concerned with the health of his squad.
The Bears will open September 4 against Class AAAAAA Brunswick High and former PCHS head coach Sean Pender. The meeting is the first-ever between the two programs.
“We’re not going to worry about Brunswick until Sunday,” Herring said. “Right now I am focused on us and taking care of us first.”
PCHS returns seven players on each side of the ball. To fill the vacancies of graduation, players have been moved around from one side of the ball to the other.
“Our (coaches) biggest concern is making sure the players know what their jobs are and the responsiblities of those positions,” said Herrin. “We’ve got to make sure they understanding what to do and where at in our schemes. It’s still a learning curve.
“We’ve still got to move forward and our football IQ has to get better.”
Herrin said practices this week will be more centered around technique.
“We’re going to be position-specific,” the second-year PCHS coach said. “We want to make sure the players understand the basic playbook on both sides of the ball. We’ve got new starters on each side and they are still learning.
“That’s what makes this a huge week for us. Players in the secondary have to understand pass coverage.”
The Pirates will test the Pierce County secondary, albeit with a new starting quarterback. Senior K.J. Lee completed 29-of-47 passes for 356 yards last year in limited playing time.
He will have a plethora of experienced receivers. Brunswick has six players returning who finished with over 200 yards. The group is led by senior Che’querdo Foy’s (5-foot-9, 170) 573 yards on 38 catches (15.1 per reception). Foy also had a team-high four touchdowns.
Junior Chuchobe Hill (5-10, 170), an all-region running back, rushed for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns. Classmate Ree Simmons (5-10, 170) rushed for 601 yards, had 208 yards receiving, and scored 13 total touchdowns.