Granbury PiratesDistrict: 8-5A Last season: 9-2, 6-1 District 7-4A Key players: RB Malik Allen (5-10, 205); OG Brandon Seago (6-2, 240); WR/DB Jacob Rose (6-0, 185); WR Thomas Weaver (6-3, 225); CB Evan Sledge (5-9, 170) The big picture: The Pirates left school for the summer thinking they were set at quarterback, but the surprising transfer of Ryan Suitt to Fort Worth All Saints has left a vacancy. A pair of candidates, Dillon Graham and Brody Ables, will battle for the position. Coach Scotty Pugh said both are athletic and can pose multiple threats. He also wouldn’t rule out using both of them. Malik Allen, a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago, will help take some of the pressure off the new quarterbacks. He’ll be running behind an offensive line that has experience inside with C Briley Pena and G Brandon Seago. Pugh said the newcomers to the offensive line are stronger and more athletic than in the past, bringing optimism for the Pirates. Targets for the quarterbacks will include Thomas Weaver and Jacob Rose, both experienced juniors. Defensively the Pirates should be solid up front with plenty of experience returning, including Landon Lambert, Alex Balboa and Keelin Ellison. Rose also moonlights in the secondary, and with Evan Sledge, provides experience there. The most turnover is at linebacker, but Pugh is encouraged by the younger guys he sees stepping into those roles and thinks all they need is some valuable playing time. On special teams, Granbury has the luxury of returning its kicker and punter. Quotable: “We’ve got good, hard-nosed kids over here that don’t mind playing both sides [of the ball]. In fact, they want to play on both sides. We’ve made no secrets that we’re trying to copy the things Aledo and Stephenville and some of those guys around us do, and they do that. So that’s what our kids want to do and that’s what we’re going to do. The type of kids we have, they relish it. They want to be on the field.” — coach Scotty Pugh“The past four or five years the community has really helped us out. They’ve been a big support for us. They’ve been showing up to all the games. — DL Bailey Dunn Notable: The Pirates have made the playoffs four consecutive seasons, but they’re still seeking their first playoff win.