While the Matanzas Pirates lost 14-0 to the Clay Blue Devils at the spring game on Friday, May 18, head coach Don Mathews is optimistic about the team's upcoming season.
Matanzas High School football head coach Don Mathews gathered his team in a huddle after the Pirates lost 14-0 in the spring game against the Clay High School Blue Devils on the evening of Friday, May 18.
"What pain did we experience tonight?" Mathews asked the players — who were all covered in rain, mud and grass after the night's slippery home game.
"Disappointment," the Pirates replied in unison.
"We're trying to get them to understand that there are two pains you're going to experience in life: the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment," Mathews said after the team was dismissed. "We're just trying to get them to understand that when we're out there practicing and everything, if they experience the pain of discipline, then they won't be disappointed later."
Despite the score, Mathews said he thinks the team will have a "bright future."
"It's just going to take hard work and time to change their mindset," he said. "It's all choices. Everything we just talked about right there has nothing to do with athletic ability but everything to do with choices. When they decide that they want to change and they want to change for the better and turn this place into a program then it'll happen."
Through the upcoming summer workouts, Mathews plans to see transformations in the players' attitudes for the game.
"The only way I know how to do it is hard work; you gotta outwork your opponent," he said.
Mathews said the Pirate defense needs to use body language more effectively. Offensively, ball security needs improvement, he added.
Junior Varsity players hopped into the fourth quarter of the game on Friday. Mathews said many of the current varsity players were JV last season, so the team is still young.
"Young players — because we are very young — they'll tend to get down on themselves when they make a bad play and then they let it carry on for several other plays and they let it affect them," he said. "We're just trying to teach them that every play has a life and a history of its own. And if you mess up that one play — you're gonna to mess up; we're all human; we always mess up — it's just going on to the next play."