There will be plenty of new faces to the Wylie Pirates offense next fall, but they won’t be on the offensive line.
Wylie returns four starters and five offensive linemen who got significant playing time during the 2021 season. Despite losing senior leader Josh Hernandez, coach Jimmy Carter feels great about the group’s prospects for next season.
“We have experience in this group,” Carter said. “You see from the NFL down how important experience is on the line of scrimmage. This group of kids has played a lot of games together and it’s going to speak volumes about what we can do next season.”
Leading the way on the offensive line is the left side, where Matthew Schell and Ralston Ulmer. Schell is the starting left tackle, while Ulmer sits at guard. Coach Carter called them “working leaders and vocal leaders” on the offensive line, and they present a formidable left side of the line of scrimmage that the offense can build around.
“It just kind of how it lines up,” Carter said. “They’re obviously good enough that we feel like we can run behind them, but they’ll also be able to pull and do different things on the line as well.”
Anthony Ortiz, Jordan Katin, Lucas McCormick and Coit Green represent the depth of the offensive line competing for the final three positions. While the Pirates have never been a team with a massive size advantage over their opponents, they feel like the starting group can be versatile enough to win in various ways.
“All offensive linemen are built differently, but we want our guys to be quick as well,” Carter said. “We use our strengths as best as we can, so it’s still more about fixing the pieces to that puzzle to make it work.”
The Pirates are hoping for a clean bill of health from their starters without many clear-cut options behind them. Wylie has a few underclassmen that look to fill out the backup roles, while defensive linemen can also slide into the positions if necessary.
To read the full story, see next week’s issue. For more news and sports stories, see The Wylie News in print or online. Support your community newspaper for less than $40 a year.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]