Promises for the '08 campaign
1. Speed on offense. In a spread offensive set, Pasco can place four players in receiver slots that few defenders can match.
2. Attitude. This team has swagger and toughness and isn't afraid to show it. The Pirates believe they will run the ball and no one will stop them.
3. Hard hitting. In the heat of grappling and blocking and tackling, the Pirates will hit first and hit hard.
What the Pirates can't promise
1. Another district title. The Pirates are talented, but they play in a district with several contenders hungry for an upset, just like the Pirates pulled in the final week of district play in '07.
2. Excuses. Seniors, seniors everywhere. The Pirates are loaded with experience so they know what it takes to win the close ones. There's a lot of pressure on this team.
3. A 1,000-yard rusher. Jamall Haynes is the primary running back, and Josh Johnson, Chaise Dunn and Hakeeme Ishmar will also be looking for the ball.
A look at some of the key figures in the Pirates' 2008 campaign
Primary offensive skill player: WR Chaise Dunn. Coach Tom McHugh said Dunn has the best hands of anyone he has ever coached. Dunn is quicker, bigger (6-3, 175 pounds) and outleaps defenders.
Primary defensive skill player: OLB Jarrod Carmody. Senior has displayed lots of strength in the weight room and a nose for playing linebacker. He moved from nose tackle because of his quickness and ability to fly to the football.
Primary offensive skill player: WR Hakeeme Ishmar. An athletically gifted sophomore, who at 6-3, 175 pounds is a nice complement to the passing game.
Primary defensive lineman: DE Zach Faza. At 6-2, 185 pounds, McHugh feels he is the perfect complement to Carmody on defense. Faza is quiet, intelligent and already taking college classes.
Primary special-teams player: K Brennan Allen. The junior stood out last season after nailing a pair of 48-yard field goals. He can routinely place kickoffs in the end zone.
Voices from the precincts
What some are saying about the Pirates
"If they listen they'll do well. That (Josh) Johnson kid can play everywhere, and (D.J.) Clower's got a year under his belt. You put the ball in their hands and give them space, there's going to be problems. …I see them as the team to beat." — Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare
Izzy Gould, Times staff writer