The Galena Pirates: A New Team


Last year, the Galena Pirates ended a near 6-year dry spell and made the IHSA state playoffs. They ended up just falling short to the Forreston Cardinals in a close game, but they did show that the Pirates were back as playoff contenders. 

 As the senior class lef the locker room, it left people wondering what the Class of 2023 would do to repeat this postseason success. While the team is considerably smaller than the previous year, this team is just as dangerous.  The 2023 Galena Pirates also have a large senior class, full of experience and ready to play. There are ten seniors playing, and all of them are on the playing field most of the game. The juniors only contribute four players, but they are all starters. While they make a well rounded team, The offense shines with this new team.

They have exceptional speed in the running core with Sam Eaton and Jack Ries, which will benefit from the quick and hard hitting offensive line, which can provide excellent blocking even in tough situations. They strongly benefit from a deep wide receiver core, who all have good speed and excellent route running skills. Along with this, the Pirates coaching staff has also gotten some help.

The Pirates defense now have a new coach to further develop this team. Coach Smigielski is the new defensive line coach for the Galena Pirates and is an amazing addition to the skilled coaching staff. “Coach Smiggs pushes us in new ways,” said Nick Handfelt”He’s young and excited and I’m really excited to see what changes he is going to make to the defensive line” Along with Coach Eaton and Coach Knight on defense, the Pirates will have a tough defense to beat

. They have an excellent Linebacker group, who can all read plays with accuracy and skill, while also providing great tackle support and great pass defense. Led by Jack Ries and John Wubben, they take good chemistry and football skill and make a dangerous secondary team. With their speed and strength, it is nearly impossible to get past them. “We have a lot of good chemistry.” Says Jack Ries. “That allows us to work together in tough situations and get the tackle.”

The seniors this year all have high hopes for this new team, and are excited to show off their hard work. “Honestly it’s pretty crazy right now,” said senior Sam Eaton. “It kind of feels like a movie with how fast paced and exciting everything has been. With our small team you really know everyone and it is amazing knowing everyone has my back.”

With a new year comes a new team, and it’s time to show that Pirate football is back!