• 63°

Patriots enter playoffs

after strong performance

By Greg Phillips, Special to The Messenger

Superstars make good teams great.

And Pike Liberal Arts' Sam Sellers is a bona fide superstar.

&uot;Sam's our best player, and I think most teams know that ahead of time,&uot; Patriots head coach Brian Seymore said.

Sellers enters Friday night's game against perennial power Morgan Academy in Selma on a roll. He is coming off one of his strongest outings, a three-touchdown performance against Cottage Hill.

In the game, Sellers scored twice on the ground, once on a screen pass and delivered a devastating fourth-quarter hit while playing defense.

The tailback, who has rushed for more than 1,600 yards in his senior campaign, has accounted for 168 of the Patriots' 287 points this season.

&uot;I just love my offensive line,&uot; Sellers said. &uot;They've been blocking for me for a long time, and it really feels like a family.&uot;

With junior Chase Avant's recent injury, Sellers will see more time on the defensive side of the ball, a task that Seymore says won't intimidate the senior.

&uot;Sam's always very competitive,&uot; Seymore said. &uot;We always want to get the best players on the field, [so] he'll play a lot more on defense from here on out. He seemed to take well to it last week [against Cottage Hill].&uot;

With 20 rushing touchdowns this season, Sellers will receive the brunt of the attention from opposing playoff teams.

WTBF-AM 970 will broadcast the game live from Selma Friday night.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the school office.