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Perquimans Football Preview | Young Pirates aim to grow and improve

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Perquimans' Saiveon Skinner works his way through the Bear Grass Charter School defense, Friday, September 21, 2018 at Bear Grass Charter School.

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The 2018 season was a learning experience for the Perquimans County High School football team.

Although the season ended with a 1-10 record, a young core of players was able to earn playing time during the season.

The Pirates aim to make progress during the upcoming season.

Perquimans returns six starters on offense and five on defense from last season's team.

That includes quarterback Amarion Hunter and running back EJ Gatling.

As freshmen last season, both injected play-making ability into the Perquimans offense.

Also expected to be contributors on offense are Anthony Griswold, Saiveon Skinner and Julian Jenkins at wide receiver with Antwan Harris at running back.

The offensive line is expected to be anchored by Jaydon Long, Wesley Ward, Jaden Allen, Derick James and Nasir Parker.

Skinner, who was an Albemarle Athletic Conference all-league selection on defense last season, returns for his senior season.

Colby Brown, Joseph Askew, Elias Holley, Braden Jordan, Travon Hunter and Landon Brown are also expected to contribute this season.

Randy Awrey, who is entering his second season as head coach of the Pirates, noted that the varsity team will have a larger roster than last season, but 3/4 of the team are either freshmen or sophomores.

The coach added that the Pirates will be very young, the team will need to run the football well and limit the number of turnovers this season.

Perquimans scrimmaged against Currituck on Aug. 13 at Currituck County High School.

Although the first team offense and defense had their struggles against a more veteran Currituck team, Awrey was able to take some things away from the scrimmage.

At the time of the scrimmage, the Pirates had only been practicing for a little over a week.

“It gave us an opportunity to see what we could do against a good opponent,” Awrey said on Aug. 13. “Everybody played, all the young guys got some experience and they were starting the realize the game speed.”

The coach added that the scrimmage let the younger players know how game speed will be in the opener Friday night at Northside-Pinetown.

“That's something that you can't reproduce in practice,” Awrey said.

Awrey acknowledged that the program has moved forward from last season.

“We've got a lot more steps to do, but we're going to take a step at a time,” he said. “The biggest thing is we have to let them mature. We've got to let them grow up.”

The Pirates will have a more manageable schedule this season as 10 of the 11 games on the schedule are against North Carolina high school programs that are in Class 1A.

Perquimans is scheduled to play its first game at its new football complex on Sept. 6 against Chocowinity's Southside High School.

The Pirates begin AAC play at home against Washington County on Oct. 11 and their home finale will be Nov. 1 against conference rival Camden.

Perquimans' only win last season was against Camden.

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