PLAS caps regular season on homecoming
Published 3:00 am Friday, October 31, 2014
The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots are heading into their homecoming game against Ashford with a lighter weight on their shoulders than the season before.
For the first time in several years, the Patriots (7-3, 3-3) will be heading to the playoffs, but head coach for PLAS, Gene Allen, said the team is still focused on beating Ashford Friday.
“I feel like it’s one of those games that if we go out there and take care of business like we’re supposed to we should be fine,” Allen said. “Like I told our kids, we’ve got to keep our momentum going. We can’t afford to take a step backwards.”
Friday’s game is potentially the last home game for the seniors, and Allen said the team had been practicing well during the time leading up to Friday’s game. Allen said many of this year’s seniors have been on the team during a time when there was no other option but to play, making this game mean so much more for the seniors.
“You always remember your last homecoming as a senior. You always remember your last home game. You always remember that. I can still remember my last football game in high school. It’s a big night.”
While the Falcons (3-6, 1-3) are not a region rival for the Patriots, Allen said the Falcons always brought stiff competition to the field against the Patriots, and he did not expect anything less from them this season.
“They’re going to come out and be ready to play,” Allen said. “They’re going to be tough. Nobody likes to be somebody else’s homecoming either. They didn’t make the playoffs, so this will be their last game.”
While some coaches may feel homecoming is a distraction for players, Allen said his team had been handling the week well and he had faith they would come out ready to play Friday night.
“Most coaches will tell you homecoming is a distraction, and usually there are a lot of things going on,” Allen said. “But our kids, they do a pretty good job of coming to practice and being ready to practice.”
The Patriots will also honor their fall athletes. For Allen, he said saying goodbye was one of the harder duties of being a coach.
“It’s always sad. You get attached to them,” Allen said. “When they were tenth graders, they never came off the field so you build a great deal of admiration for those kids, because it was so tough.
Kickoff between the Patriots and Falcons will be at 7 p.m. The school will hold homecoming activities as well as honor graduating fall athletes during Friday’s game.