Countdown to Gridron Glory: Heath Pirates
The end of the 2009 season was a tough one for the Heath Pirates. Hope was running high after a 4-3 start, but a four-game losing streak quickly followed as their season ended with a 30-point loss to Hancock County in the first round of the KHSAA Class 2A playoffs.
In 2010, the Pirates start the third year under head coach Cory Tilford. Improvement has come in each of Tilford first two years, going from 2-9 in 2008 to 4-7 last season.
If the Pirates are to improve again in 2010, they'll have to replace athletic quarterback Tra Tharp, who is now playing college football at Murray State.
Junior Javen Bell has been called on to try and fill Tharp's big shoes. Bell is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him much of 2009.
Bell is one of many inexperienced skill position players the Pirates have this year. The wealth of their experience comes on the offensive and defensive line from players, most of whom have started since their sophomore year in 2008.