Grant likes future of PLAS football

Published 10:27 pm Monday, May 20, 2013

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots wrapped up spring football practice with a controlled scrimmage against Coosa Valley Academy last week, and head coach Wayne Grant is optimistic about the future.

Grant said that the Patriots played well at times on Thursday night against the Rebels from Harpersville, and found things to build on during the summer.

“We played pretty good at times, I think,” said Grant. “We had some hard hits out there, which shows that the guys like the contact. If we can take that intensity through the summer and fall, things should be good for us.”

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Freshman Marquese Christian got the start for the Pats at quarterback, but a newcomer stole the show. Junior running back Rush Hixon broke free for a couple of touchdowns in his first football action in a few years. Hixon is a standout basketball and baseball player for the Pats.

Grant was also very excited about the place kicking efforts of John Stephen Grice. Grice has routinely nailed kicks from 40 yards in practice, and can be a valuable weapon for the Patriots during the 2013 season.

“Grice has been a bright spot so far, “ said Grant. “If you can get a kid that can hit field goals from the distance regularly, then you have a big advantage over a lot of ball teams.”

Pike struggled with numbers last season, and numerous times dressed less than 15 players. During the spring, Grant said that the Patriots had nearly 45 players between the varsity and junior varsity rosters.

With the increased numbers and excited attitude of his player, Grant sees good days ahead for Patriot football.

“We worked hard the last few days,” Grant said. “When August rolls around, we will be used to getting after it. If we play hard and smart, good things will happen.”