PIke Lib to be AISA’s smallest AAA school

Published 9:05 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Two points. That is what kept Pike Liberal Arts School as an AISA AAA member.

The Alabama Independent Schools Association announced its new reclassification for 2014-2016 Wednesday afternoon.

Pike Liberal Arts, an AAA school since 1986, will remain in the league’s highest division, but by the slimmest of margins. Pike came in as the smallest AAA school in the state, with an average daily enrollment of 60 students.

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Some of the AAA schools, such as Lee-Scott and Glenwood are over 80. Pike Liberal head football coach and athletic director Gene Allen summed up the results of the count with a simple statement.

“It is what is,” said Allen. “We knew it would be close, and kind of expected to be a AA. We are going to be the smallest AAA in the state, but someone has to be it.

“It is going to be a challenge, but our kids are tough and we are going to work through it.”

Pike’s region stayed relatively the same, sans the addition of Autauga Academy. The Patriots will see Escambia, Fort Dale, Hooper, Monroe and Morgan in football, baseball, softball and basketball. Volleyball is only sponsored in two classifications, so the Lady Pats will play Eastwood Christian, Escambia, Fort Dale, Glenwood, Hooper, Lee-Scott and Macon-East Montgomery.

The classification changes allowed Pike to keep Fort Dale and Hooper, two of its oldest rivals, on the schedule.

“It’s always good to keep those familiar teams on the schedule if you can,” said Allen. “We would have probably played them anyway if were AA. The kids like to play them, and will continue to like it.”

Despite being the smallest school in the AAA classification, Allen thinks his Patriots won’t use it as an excuse.

“We are going to go out, strap on the gear and play,” said Allen. “It doesn’t matter what sport it is. You can’t worry about how many kids a school has. Yea, they have more to pick from, but they can only put so many on the field or court at a time. We have to be ready to play no matter who the opponent is.”