Post Top 25 countdown: No. 15 Treasure Coast
Saturday, August 18, 2012
by Jeff Greer
They aren't the Pittsburgh Pirates of the 1970s, but the Treasure Coast Titans want to bring back the family mentality that helped them make back-to-back playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010.
Treasure Coast used to wear shirts inscribed with a theme, such as "We support" or "We care." This year's just say "We," with the idea that returning to that family environment can turn the program around after a disappointing 4-5 season last fall.
"We're bringing 'we' back," third-year coach Irvin Jones said. "That means getting back to some of the things we did in the past -- playing great, aggressive defense and sound offense, playing with fire."
That fire should come from several positions.
Carl Chisholm, who sat out last season, had a breakout spring game. At strong safety, he intercepted a pass, forced a fumble and blocked a kick. He also showed off his talents at running back.
Devin Ferguson, a multi-position senior, will do a bit of everything for the Titans. Last fall, he compiled 177 rushing and receiving yards. He missed spring practice altogether, but has made up for lost time, Jones said.
Willie Micco, a junior who saw action in six games last fall as Travares Copeland's backup at quarterback, steps into the starting role. He'll be protected in a managed pistol spread, meaning his coaches will give him time to learn as he grows into the position.
"He's got a strong arm," Jones said. "We want to put him in situations, though, where he can manage the game. He's a very smart kid, but you don't want to rush him, either. We don't need him to be (Copeland), we just need him to be a steady hand."
Steadiness was something that was missing last fall. The Titans started 2-0, fell to 2-3, jumped back to 4-3 and lost the final two games of the season. Both district losses, to rivals Centennial and Vero Beach, were close contests.
It's tough to play two highly competitive, intense games that decide your post-season fate in the midst of a nine-game season.
"You're going to get both teams' A-games in both games," Jones said. "That's difficult for us."
But with a new mentality to bring that old T-Coast family feel back, maybe the year out of the playoff picture can help the Titans overcome last year's struggles. It won't be easy, with Vero and Centennial loaded up for playoff runs.
"We're going back and digging deep," Jones said. "Hopefully that's what we needed."