Senior pride at PLAS

Published 11:36 pm Thursday, November 20, 2008

Every year a high school senior class graduates and moves on with life. Some go to college, some go to work and some just take some time to figure out what they want to do.

Within that class of seniors is a group that played football and within the many football groups are the few that have played for a state championship.

The 2009 Pike Liberal Arts School graduates fall into that select few. The eight young men of the Patriots gridiron gang will compete for a state title today for the first time in the school’s history.

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“It is a dream come true and there couldn’t be a better way to go out,” Douglas Hawkins said. “Football is my favorite sport, so going out in the state championship game is definitely the best way to go out.”

Bradley Floyd has one wish for the game.

“I just want to go out on a win,” Floyd said.

Making it to the state championship game in his first year playing football since JV was a great feeling for Josh Taylor.

“To go out like this would be real nice because it is real fun,” Taylor said. “A winning season is good, but making the playoffs and then the state championship game is real fun.”

Taylor may have played and come back, but for Jared Henderson football was a brand new experience in 2008 and he said reaching the championship game this year was great.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to have my only season playing end,” Henderson said.

Reaching the state championship game is not a new experience for Jerel Foster, but he said it feels much better reaching the game knowing he contributed to the team.

“I have been in a state championship before in public school, but you really don’t understand the meaning of it until you are a senior,” Foster said. “It means a lot to me to reach this game, but like I have said before I can’t take the credit. I am a big part of the team, but so is my line. I credit them for all their hard work.

Foster played for a state title in his seventh and ninth grade years as a member of the Pike County Bulldogs.

Corey Goodson has seen a lot in his years at Pike, but he is proud to be a part of this team.

“This is the best year we have had,” Goodson said. “It is great to be in the state championship.

Philip Quincey is just glad the hard work is paying off.

“It feels good to get to the state championship, but now we have to take care of it and not let it slip away,” Quincey said.

The whole week has been quite an experience for Brock Collier.

“It feels great and it is just really surreal,” Collier said. “This whole week I have been having to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming that we have made it this far. We have been waiting so long to get here and it is finally here.”

PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease is the third coach this group of seniors played for in their four high school years and he said this is a special group of guys.

“They are all close knit and that is what makes them special,” Kilcrease said. “You see them in the halls hanging out, you see them sitting together in classes and they are just a close-knit group. They enjoy spending time together. They are just a privilege to be around.”

Playing together for a long time has fueled the Patriots’ success in 2008.

“You don’t play for yourself you play for your friends,” Hawkins said. “I wouldn’t even call them my teammates because they are my friends. All my best friends are on the team and that makes it 10 times better.”

Goodson said it was the group’s chemistry that led to success.

“We have had team chemistry every year that I have been playing with them,” he said. “We are all playing for each other and no one is playing for themselves and that is all you can ask for.”