Matanzas experienced growing pains last year. The Pirates lost five of their first six games as sophomore quarterback Dakwon Evans was learning the nuances of coach Matt Forrest's air-raid system and how to play quarterback on the high school level.

Evans finished the season with 1,000 yards passing and 245 yards rushing. Now, Evans and several other young players have a year of experience under their belt as the Pirates begin preseason practice.

Forrest spoke about his team's development, the Pirates' priorities in the first two weeks of preseason camp and how they almost ended up in the same district with Flagler Palm Coast.