The Sandcrabs lost two starters to transfer this year.
In his third season at the helm of Seabreeze High School’s football program, head coach Troy Coke finds himself in a similar predicament to the one he had before the start of the 2017 season. The Sandcrabs lost four starters due to transfers last year. The Sandcrabs lost four more starters to transfer, inlcuding their starting quarterback, Jadyn Nirschl, in the spring after he transferred to DeLand, and one of their best two-way players in De’Shaun Hugee, who transferred to Flagler Palm Coast before the start of fall practice.
Coke said he refuses to let it be an excuse, though.
“It’s been frustrating,” Coke admitted. “But we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve been here before, and my expectation is that we’re just going to keep rolling and win every game we can.”
To remedy the holes left by transfers, Coke said he plans to play as many players both ways to keep his best players on the field. In addition, the Sandcrabs will also institute a running back-by-committee approach, with LaTrae Bass and Braeden Glaze getting the bulk of the carries.
“It’s a tough situation to be in, but they’re expectation is to still go out, work hard and win,” Coke said. “That hasn’t changed.”
Sophomore Isaiah Shirley, who was the MVP of the junior varsity team as a receiver in 2017, will fill the void left a quarterback. He’s impressed his teammates with more than just his improving passing ability.
“He’s faster than I am, and I’m a wide receiver,” senior Orion Mountain said. “He’s very fast. He throws it to me, and I go up and catch it every time. That’s what I love about him.
“I have 100% confidence in Isaiah.”
The Sandcrabs went 4-7 last season. The goal, Coke said, is to not be stagnant.
“We want to take a step in the right direction,” he said. “We don’t want to stay where we are.”