COLLINSVILLE, TX. -- The Collinsville Pirates are coming off one of their better seasons in recent history, but there will be a lot of new faces on the sideline and the field in 2017.
"Tears came to my eyes," Incoming Collinsville Head Coach Dale West said. "When Mr. Dykes, our superintendent, called me and told me I was the man for the job I thought it was a joke."
It was far from a joke, Dale West earned his first head coaching job. He takes over a Collinsville club that went 9-3 in 2016.
"They are hardworking small-town kids that enjoy being out here and enjoy sports," West said. "It's been an easy transition that way."
West is implementing his own style into the Pirates' game, which is where the transition is taking more effort from the swashbucklers.
"It's been a little bit of a learning curve, but by year three in Howe the kids new the and it was fun," West said. "It'll be the same thing here in three years."
"It's been great, loved every change we've had," Collinsville senior Taylor Bennett said. "It's definitely benefited us."
"Getting used to the new offense," Collinsville senior Jake Zimmerman said. "Mainly learning new plays and just getting used to everything."
Still, Coach West doesn't want to hear anything about 2017 being a rebuilding year.
"I've heard community members talking about it being a few years, but I don't want people to sleep on us," West said. "We're going to be just fine. These kids are the best group of kids I've been around."
"I'm hoping to win it all," Bennett said. "Definitely making playoffs would make it all great my senior year."
"Finishing out strong and having a good year to go out on," Zimmerman said.