Patriots’ prize

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On Monday, the Pike Liberal Arts School’s athletic program received one last honor before the school year came to a close – and it one may be the biggest yet.

The AISA announced PLAS as the recipient of the 2010 Class AAA Chairman’s Award, which goes to the school that achieved the most athletic success during the school year.

“It’s a big achievement for our athletics program here,” Athletic Director Steven Kilcrease said.

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“It’s really all about the athletes though. They all worked extremely hard as did the coaches and it is great to see their hard work pay off.”

The award was given to the top athletic program in each classification, but Kilcrease was quick to point out that the award was not just given to whomever had just the most wins or championships.

“There were a lot of different factors that went into it,” he said.

“Players who made all-star games, student-athlete awards and students who signed scholarships were also a part of it.”

Kilcrease said there were around 20 Patriots, from all different sports, who participated in all-star games, while three players received student-athletes awards.

This past school year alone saw two of the school’s varsity teams win state championships in football and girls’ basketball, while four other teams advanced to the state playoffs.

The baseball team’s season ended in the state finals against Glenwood, while golf finished runner-up, softball finished in the semifinals and boys basketball finishing in the semi-finals.

“This award is a big deal for us,” Kilcrease said. “And I am very proud of everyone who made it possible.”

Besides the field or court, Kilcrease said there was another place where the athletes of PLAS have performed well on and one that led to a winning this award.

“It all goes back to the weight room,” he said. “That has been a huge benefit for the athletes here.

“I have always told the kids, the first battle you got to win is the one within, and they all have really done a good job of preparing themselves for the seasons ahead,” he added.

Last year, PLAS finished runner-up in the final standings to Lee Scott, who finished in second this year.

Kilcrease said he believes with the past two years the Patriots’ teams have had – the bar has been set for what to expect.

“We hope all of our teams are successful,” he said.

“Expectations are high for all the teams. Obviously, we aren’t going to win championships every year, but I think all of our teams have a great chance to be successful year in and year out.”