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Wayne Grant brings repeating experience to Patriot offense

With the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots football team gearing up for a run at a second straight state championship, head coach Steven Kilcrease decided to turn to a man who has experience with repeating.

Wayne Grant joined PLAS’s staff in January and was given control of the Patriot offense, as well as the weight training and conditioning program.

“Coach Kilcrease has entrusted me with the offense and the weight and conditioning program,” Grant said.

“I just hope I can do a good job with that and try to continue what he started last year.”

Kilcrease brought Grant in not only for his football acumen, but also for his experience.

“That experience he’s got in trying to repeat will help us out,” Grant said. “He’s going to take a load off of me by doing the offense. It’s been a help. Things are working well. It’s really going to help us, just thanks to his experience.

Grant said he is looking forward to helping PLAS become a two-time state champion.

“I’m going to try and help Coach Kilcrease in that aspect,” Grant said.

“I’m going to help him realize and see some of the things we’re going to have to overcome in order to accomplish that.”

While the transition from public school football to private school football may seem daunting, Grant said it has not been difficult.

“It’s been a good transition for me,” Grant said. “Football is football, and I’m still basically doing the same thing I’ve always done. I’m a pretty firm believer that if something works for you, then you keep working with it until it’s proven that it doesn’t work anymore.

“The guys have accepted me over here. They’re working hard in the weight room getting stronger. They’re working hard in the conditioning program, doing a little bit more running than they’ve done in the past, and implementing a new offense.”

One of the things that drew Grant to PLAS was its status as an established program.

“It was good to be able to make an equilateral movement,” Grant said.

“You’re not in a position to try to build a program here because the program’s already been built. All I’m trying to do now is help make the transition from a first championship to a second championship, which I’ve done two times already.”

There are elements of the team that Grant said will help tremendously on the path to a second state title.

“I think we’re doing real good right now,” Grant said.

“I think our offensive and defensive lines are the strong points of our team. We have bigger, older, stronger boys on the front. Our offensive and defensive alignment is probably about as good as I’ve ever had.”

However, no team is without its share of concerns.

“Our backs are young and they’ve got to learn how to run the football,” Grant said.

“They lost Jerel Foster from last year, who was the sparkplug, so somebody’s got to step up and fill his shoes.”