Pats Ready: Pike Liberal Arts Patriots to kick off season against Hooper Academy Colts Friday
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015
While most teams got a preseason tune up last week, the Pike Liberal Patriots didn’t have that luxury and will play their first game of the season Friday as they travel to Hope Hull to take on Hooper Academy.
Without the luxury of a preseason game, Patriot head coach Gene Allen has been making sure that his players stay sharp and hungry before the season opener.
“We have had a good day and a good week of practice,” Allen said. “We hope that it is going to carry over. We had a good summer and we are hoping we come out and hit somebody.’
The lack of the preseason hasn’t dampened the Patriots’ spirits; in fact, they are more ready than ever to put what they have learned in practice into effect.
“It’s been very good and it’s been very exciting for the kids,” Allen said. “They are ready to hit somebody other than themselves. It hurt us not being able to play last week because we weren’t able to get the first game jitters out of the way.”
Season openers are always emotional and tensions are always high, that is especially the case when your season opener is against a conference opponent. Hooper Academy enters this week’s matchup against the Patriots after losing their preseason opener to Sparta Academy 22-7 last Friday night.
The Colts are a familiar opponent for the Patriots so Allen and the team know what kind of fight to expect Friday night.
“We know what kind of defense they play after they played last week,” Allen said. “We know they will feature a spread offense. We have been working on our fundamentals and worrying about what we are doing. We also have been getting our responsibilities down. If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and then we are going to be able to cover whatever their doing as well.”
Allen and the Patriots will not hold much stock in what they saw from the Colts last week, as a lot of teams usually don’t show their entire playbook in preseason games.
The plan heading into this week’s matchup was always to play a lot of players and that has not changed just a few days away from the opening game. Allen wants to be able to keep his team as fresh as they could be.
“We are going to play a lot of different players. We are going to try to win the game first but we are going to play a lot of people and try to get them on film,” Allen said. “We still have some kids battling, wanting to get out there and play. I am anxious to see how they are going to do once we get up there. We pretty know which guys will start both ways for us now.”
One position that will feature more than one player participating is the quarterback position. Both Reed Jinright and Holman Outlaw will get a significant amount of plays Friday night.
“They are both going to play. They both have continued to get better and do a good job,” Allen said. “They don’t get hit a lot during practice, they are going to get hit Friday night. We will see how it goes when they get out there and have to make some throws.”
Kickoff between the Patriots will be Friday at 7 in Hope Hull.
“It’s a region game for us, so this is a must win,” Allen said. “I am expecting to come out and play well. We have to come out and take care of the game. The main goal is to make the playoffs and we have to win region games to do that.”