WENDELL — Cole Sakowski knew he had some pretty big shoes to fill entering this season as the starting quarterback for Corinth Holders.
Kenny Collins, a senior last year, threw for more than 2,500 yards in 2012 and led the Pirates on a late-season surge to earn a berth in the state playoffs.
Sadowski threw two passes all year.
I was worried a little bit at first but I knew that I was ready for it, Sakowski said. I knew that I could fill those shoes; I was more ready than worried.
Nine games into the 2013 season, Sakowski has led Corinth Holders to a 6-3 record, thrown for 2,040 yards and erased any doubt about his ability to lead the club.
He has completed 65 percent of his passes and has thrown for 29 touchdowns, including five in last weeks 34-32 loss to Cleveland.
In addition to putting hard work in during the offseason, Sakowski has spent time studying film after games to help improve his play.
At this point in the season, hes really grown up, said Corinth Holders offensive coordinator Matt Migliore. Hes seeing things that he didnt see the first couple games; hes understanding all of his reads now and everybody on the team now believes in him and trusts him.
Were excited that hes here.
Also excited are the talented wide receivers who are benefiting from Sakowskis efficient play.
Tori Carmichael, Tony Kirkwood, Hampton Smith and Dymon Walker are suited for the Pirates up-tempo, no-huddle offense.
In my opinion, were pretty loaded at the skill positions, Migliore said. That makes (Sakowskis) job a little easier. There are not a lot of teams that can match up across the board with all four guys.
Sakowski, who was initially considered as a potential starting quarterback during his freshman season, has spread his passes around. Each of his four main targets has more than 300 yards receiving.
Its awesome because you can just look out at the field and throw it to anybody and know that theyre going to be there and theyre going to catch it and theyre going to get positive yards out of it, Sakowski said.
Sakowski is not letting the early successes of the season take away from his focus.
Were confident but we know that puts a target on us, he said. Everybody wants to beat us and question whether we are for real or not. Were just going to keep working hard and try to win out.