Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

After Painful Loss, Pirates to Regroup for Another Run

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

After Painful Loss, Pirates to Regroup for Another Run

Article excerpt

MURDOCK

FOOTBALL: Head coach credits players for dedication to season

When Jordan Ingman returned, the Port Charlotte High football team was a downtrodden program that had won 24 games in the previous nine seasons.

In the two years Ingman has been the head coach, the Pirates played in a tiebreaker for the district title and reached the regional final by winning their first two playoff games in the 32- year history of the program.

How?

"They worked every single day," said Ingman, a Port Charlotte graduate. "They've given everything they've got. They laid it on the line."

Ingman, along with assistants Carson Bowman and Jarret Debus, put together a vigorous plan that concentrated mainly in offseason work. And the phrase the trio uses most often is the players "bought in."

"That plan doesn't matter unless the kids actually work," Ingman said. "They bought into the team concept. They bought into playing for each other. There was no secret. It was just good old fashion hard work."

On the back of the T-shirts commemorating the team's first district title is "No shortcuts."

"There is no replacement for grinding," Ingman said. "Buying in is when you've got 85 kids who lift and run year round. Buying in is when you have 6 a.m. workouts and everybody is there. Buying in is when you put them on the line in overtime for gassers and nobody complains. That's buying in.

"And the kids deserve the credit."

The season did not end exactly the way Port Charlotte had planned: with a 49-15 blowout loss at East Lake (Tarpon Springs) in the Class 7A-Region 3 final Friday night on the road. The Pirates were outmuscled by the bigger, stronger, faster Eagles.

There were multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and personal fouls on both teams in the game that ended with East Lake special teams player Noah Vazquez being taken off the field via ambulance after a late hit by Port Charlotte's Shacquille Williams, who was ejected.

"It was very disappointing because that young man we worked so hard to try to help," Ingman said. "Just when you think you've made a difference and you think he turned the corner, something like that happens. …

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