Patriots take on Gators at home

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 6, 2000

Sports Editor

The Patriots will be celebrating homecoming against regional foe Glenwood tonight at DeWight Ward Field.

No. 3 Glenwood that is.

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The Gators, ranked third in this week’s ASWA Alabama Independent School Association poll, come into Troy with a 5-1 record.

Just the opposite of PLAS, who are 1-5 this season.

With depth and injuries being a problem, Pike head coach DeWight Ward and his team have had a difficult time competing against the bigger 3A schools they’ve faced this season.

Fort Dale came into Patriots’ Stadium at the beginning of the year with an army of 50 or so players, to Pike Lib’s 27.

Next was Mobile Christian, traditionally one of the bigger AISA 3A school’s and it showed as they walloped Ward’s team 35-6. Meadowview downed the Patriots in a close contest 21-14. Lee-Scott, another top ten team beat Pike 35-7. Then last week the Patriots traveled to No. 2 Monroe Academy where they were beaten by the Volunteers 41-0.

The lone bright spot this year has been Pike’s win over winless Greenville Academy in the third game of the season, 40-7.

Tonight, Ward will be without fullback Scott Kirby, who suffered a concussion during last week’s game. Kirby had two concussions last year and missed most of the season and right now it is unsure as to whether or not he will be able to return to finish out the 2000 campaign.

"We’ll definitely miss Scott," said Ward. "He and (Bill) Hughes are a major part of our running game."

However, senior Richard Long’s return to the team may make up for the loss of Kirby. Long was a hard runner last season and his presence also bolsters the Patriots’ defense.

"Richard came in late," said Ward. "At first he decided not to come out this season. All these other kids worked hard during the summer, so I decided to let them take a vote as to whether or not we should let him join the team. They voted yes and Richard will definitely helps us out in some key areas."