Kickoff is Thursday at 6 p.m. at Ed Widseth Field in Crookston

    In the Times/Valley Shopper 2019 Fall Sports Preview, Pirate football Head Coach Scott Butt participated in a Q & A. It appears here, too:
Have you tried to erase the memory of last year and turn over a new leaf?

    I don’t want to say we erased the memory. I believe in hanging on to the memory a little bit to make you remember what didn’t work so you don’t make that mistake again. History is something you have to look at every year and make darn sure you don’t repeat. You have to look at where you came from to get where you’re going.

What does a healthy Leyton Salentine do for your offense?

    Last year, everybody saw what it did to our offense when we lost him. We lost our offense. This year, if we can keep him healthy, he can be as good as anybody. He gives us a dimension a lot of teams don’t have. He can make plays when there’s nothing there. He also brings a calming effect.

Who are some other players you’re looking to shine this year?

    I think the number one people we need to shine are the lineman. Getting Gavin Salem back was a huge deal for us. We’re expecting big things out of Brady [Butt] and Brooks [Butt]. We’re expecting big things out of Cade DeLeon. We’re really expecting big things out of Ty Hamre this year. Another kid I think really can step forward is Caden Osborn. Ethan Boll is going to be a monster for us down the road. Jacob Hesby had a huge offseason. He added about 20 pounds of muscle. Zach Brown is another one we expect big things out of.

What are you expecting from the new opponents on your schedule?

    I know the new teams we’re playing were pretty good last year. Pillager was a really, really good team. Instead of staying the same, our schedule got tougher, but that’s a good thing. It makes us have to work harder. If you want to get to the top of the mountain, you got to go through the tough teams. We’re going to see what we can do and take it one game at a time.

If you guys were to have a successful season similar to 2017, what’s going to need to happen?

    We’ve got to take care of the ball, and we have to stay healthy. Limiting our turnovers and mistakes where we put the ball on the ground and still get it back. We can’t have negative plays. Last year, I thought we played on our heals, and his year, we’ve got to play where we’re going forward. We let teams bring the game to us, and we’ve got to get back to taking it to the other teams.

Looking back

    • 2018 Pirates: 2-7, lost to Roseau in Section Quarterfinals

    • Passing: Leyton Salentine - 17-42, 260 yds, 1 TD

    • Rushing: Leyton Salentine - 50 att, 416 yds, 5 TDs

    • Receiving: Ty Hamre - 8 rec, 101 yds, 1 TD

    • Sacks: Brady Butt - 1.5