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Championship done, time to switch gears

Being called a state champion is the No. 1 goal for any athlete at the high school level. It is the thing you go to bed dreaming about at night. It is the ultimate goal and it is what every member of the 2008 Pike Liberal Arts School Patriot football team can call himself.

The Patriots finished off the Fort Dale Eagles in dramatic fashion last Friday 20-17 to cap an unbelievable run at the title. There was buzz around the Patriots before the season, as they were ranked as the No. 8 team in the Preseason Alabama Sports Writers Association Writers poll this year, but not many expected them to win the state championship.

To be honest, until I witnessed the Patriots take down Fort Dale in Greenville during the regular season, I didn’t believe they could win the state title. When they destroyed Bessemer 40-28 that is when I truly start to believe I would be covering a state championship game.

And five weeks later here we are. The Patriots are now state champs and all is wonderful for the Pike Liberal community.

But now we have that glorious time that is the transition into basketball season.

This sport change always seems to be the most difficult because you are still stuck in football mode, but you have to start following the round ball go through the hoop. Don’t worry Pike Liberal fans, we will have a special section for your Patriots, but because of the hectic nature of the Thanksgiving week it will publish not this Sunday, but next Sunday.

Now it is time for the fun to begin. With a new sport comes a new set of players and a new set of fans and a new set of experiences.

I hope those experiences will lead to great things for the basketball faithful at Charles Henderson High School, Pike Liberal Arts School, Pike County High School and Goshen High School.

I can definitely not complain about the good sports experiences so far.

In my time here I have witnessed a state championship baseball series with the Charles Henderson Trojans, a state championship baseball team in the American Legion Post 70 Trojans and a state championship football victory on Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium.

Keep it up Troy and maybe we can have someone blow their way through Trojan Arena and the South Regional. Good luck basketballers and I will see you on the court.

Matt Nascone is the sports editor for The Messenger. He can be reached at 670-6315 or online at matt.nascone@troymessenger.com.