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Team behind the team

The team that has allowed 19 points in two playoff games would not be the team they are without a certain group of players.

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriot scout team has done their best to simulate what the opposing team will throw at the Patriots and the members of that team have gone unnoticed to all but the coaches and players until now.

“Our scout team is one of the best groups that I have had and it has made us a better football team,” PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said. “Those guys to me are the unsung heroes of this football team without a doubt. You can ask any of our starters ‘What has been the difference in the last three weeks?’ and they will tell you it has been the scout team. If they don’t they have probably forgotten, but there is no doubt in my mind that has been a huge difference.”

And Kilcrease said the scout team is treated like any other player on the team.

“We have tried to let them know how much they have meant to this team,” he said. “You have to know your role on the team and I think all of our guys have stepped up and contributed.”

But the scout team is not the only group of “unsung heroes” in Kilcrease’s book. He said his assistant coaches and their wives have been an integral piece of the puzzle.

“Our coaches have worked hard and you have to look at these coaches’ wives,” Kilcrease said. “I am sure I have four or five of them that are married and their wives are probably disgusted with me because they are ready to get their husbands back, including mine. But being a coaches’ wife is a sacrifice and it takes a special lady to be married to a coach.”

But the people on the sidelines are not the only ones who deserve recognition, according to Kilcrease. The cheerleaders, the booster club, the administration and all the Patriot faithful have been great supporters of the program all year long.

“Our booster club president is Greg Avant and he is always willing to help out in any way,” Kilcrease said. “The lady who does more than anybody is Lori Broadway. She is the secretary and treasurer of the booster club, but her duties go far beyond those roles. We work well together and I can’t even tell you how many times she has helped me out.”

PLAS volleyball coach Mendy Avant has also been a huge help to Kilcrease and the Patriots.

“Since volleyball has been over with she has helped out in the concession stand, she has helped out taking care of the officials at halftime and she just always seems to be there,” Kilcrease said.

Without the cheerleaders Kilcrease said the spirit in and around the school would not even be close to what it is now.

“The cheerleaders have added the excitement,” he said. “Amber Michael has done an excellent job directing them to get the spirit up. We have the spirit lines before the games and at halftime and that is the cheerleaders. They do that and they have been a great group.”

Those cheerleaders already brought home a state title earlier this year and they told Kilcrease and the football team to bring back the football portion. The Patriots are one game away from fulfilling that dream.