PLAS junior quarterback Layton Sanders drops back for a pass during practice as head coach DeWight Ward looks on.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Ward and the Patriots prepare for 2000 and Fort Dale Academy

By Kevin Pearcey

Sports Editor

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In just over eight days on Friday Aug. 25, the AISA will kick off the 2000 football season.

That means the Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots have only eight days to prepare for their first game of the year. PLAS will open football season next week at home against Fort Dale Academy.

"At this point in time we’re trying to get our players in the right position,"said Patriots’ head coach DeWight Ward. "Right now lack of depth is a big concern. We’ve got to get some kids used to playing different areas of the field."

Ward said practice the past couple of weeks, has been spent on getting the base offense and base defense down.

"We’ve been working on execution," he said. "Plus we’re trying to put some new wrinkles in so we can hopefully catch a few people off guard."

Junior Layton Sander will start at quarterback for the Patriots. Sanders backed up graduated senior Clint Wallace last season and Ward said he likes what he sees in his new quarterback.

"He’s got good quickness," Ward said. "He’s been throwing the ball well and we’re going to utilize him a lot in our offense. We’re going to run the triple option and stretch the defense and make them cover a little more ground then they’re used to."

When Fort Dale comes to town on Aug. 25, Ward will be looking across the field at one of his former players. Steven Kilcrease played for Ward at PLAS in the early 90’s, but is now an assistant coach for the Eagles.

"I’m glad he’s coaching instead of playing," said Ward. "Because he was a good player. If he’s as good a coach as he was a player, we are going to be in trouble."

Ward said the game with Fort Dale would be a "tough challenge" for his team, but the players were looking forward to it.

"They’ve (Fort Dale) got 12 seniors coming back and the word on the street is that they are much improved over last year," Ward said. "Last season they were 5-5. I know they’ll be tough."