Patriots close out season with hope for future
Published 3:30 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Injuries and stumbling blocks plagued the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots in the 2015 season.
“We were hoping we were going to be able to do a lot better than what we did,” said Patriots coach Gene Allen. “We screwed up a lot of games with turnovers or what not. Overall I was proud with the effort of our kids.”
Due to injuries the Patriots (4-6, 1-5) could never get anything going consistently and seemed to take two steps back after trying to move forward.
“Like we talked about at the beginning of the year, we had some depth,” Allen said. “Three weeks ago I had four outside linebackers hurt. We got down to two, which meant we had to move some other guys around. Injuries always play a major role, especially at our level.”
The Patriots relied on a good core of veterans but due to injuries a lot of younger plays saw action during the season.
“We had a lot of youth out there,” Allen said. “We made some young mistakes and some mistakes that we shouldn’t have made. Some made some mistakes while some made big plays there was kind of a mixture there.”
One of the younger players that made major strides in 2015 was sophomore quarterback Reed Jinright.
Jinright and the Patriots scored 24 points per game.
“He made tremendous progress this year,” Allen said about Jinright. “He did a great job as the season went along he got better and better. He had a couple 300-yard games and he did some really good things. I am super excited about how he played and about some of the things he did.”
The Patriots began the year losing two of their first three region games. The Patriots then spent the next three weeks against non-region teams in hopes of fixing some mistakes. The Patriots went 3-0 during that stretch outscoring their opponents 149-54.
Once the Patriots returned to region play the injury bug continued to plague Pike and the offense become non-existent. The Patriots lost their remaining four games scoring a total of 41 points.
“Injuries took a part in that,” Allen said. “It took a lot of our skill guys out, so it changed some things and Reed (Jinright) had to change.”
With all the injuries that fell on the Patriots many of younger players on the roster received ample playing time that they will able to use starting next year.
“We received some good play by some of our younger guys,” Allen said. “For the most part defensively I thought we played pretty well and we were playing with two or three seniors. We got to play a lot of young kids and that was a big plus. I look forward to see what’s going to happen next year.”