PLAS sends five to AISA All-Star game

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Following a second straight state championship season, five seniors from Pike Liberal Arts earned the right to play in Thursday’s 2009 AISA All-Star Game in Prattville.

Tanner Grant and Will Starling will play on the offensive side of the ball for the East All-Stars, while Daniel Powell, Justin McLaughlin and Trey Walters will play defense.

“These guys are voted on by coaches from around the state,” said PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease.

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“Normally, you don’t get five players in a game like this. I think there are one or two schools this year that got six into the game, but last year when we won the state championship, we only got four. Five really is a good number.”

For the five Patriots, Thursday’s game will give them one final opportunity to play high school football.

“It’s definitely an exciting time for them,” Kilcrease said. “I just told them to enjoy it and have fun. This really is a great reward for the terrific season they had.”

Fans of PLAS should not be disappointed, as Kilcrease said his players have been impressive thus far in the practices leading up to Thursday’s game.

“They’re really looking good thus far, and I think they’ll play well,” Kilcrease said.

While PLAS was honored by having five players named to the team, Kilcrease himself is also getting involved in the game.

Kilcrease will be one of the assistant defensive coaches for the East All-Stars, something that has him excited.

“I’ll be coaching the linebackers and be one of the three guys coaching the defense, so I’ll have the opportunity to work with Justin and Daniel and Trey again,” Kilcrease said.

“I’m also going to be fortunate enough to get to coach some of my former students at Lee-Scott that are up here, so that’s also pretty special.”

While the players are selected based on their on-field accomplishments, Kilcrease knows he would not have been selected to coach if PLAS had not had a successful season.

“It really is an honor to be selected, but it’s really based on how the team played throughout the year,” Kilcrease said.

“I’m just fortunate enough to have had great players that played their hearts out all year long.”