Patriots look to build endurance before the season

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

With their season opener less then a month away, the Pike Patriots return to the practice field this week in hopes of making it back to the postseason.

The Patriots made it back to the postseason last year after missing out in 2015 and coach Gene Allen and his players are excited to get back to work.

“We are getting pretty excited about it,” Allen said. “We had 7-on-7 last week that a lot of the kids got fired up about. The mood has been pretty good so far.”

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Many of the Patriots have been away this summer doing other activities, but with their season opener right around the corner, the Patriots are starting to return.

“It’s busy around here,” Allen said. “It’s always busy when you have kids playing travel baseball and travel softball. We pretty much have all the boys lined up so we have most of them back in here at workouts and practice doing what they are supposed to be doing. It’s always good when you have everybody here.”

The Patriots will field a smaller team in 2017.  With the smaller number of players, the Patriots will focus on conditioning throughout the next few weeks, making sure they are ready to play both sides of the ball.

“A lot of them are going to have to play two ways (offense and defense),” Allen said. “It’s going to be a big part of it. It’s hot out there right now. It’s a catch-22; you have to run them pretty good making sure you get them in shape. At the same time you have to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get overheated where they are going to miss a couple days. So far it’s been pretty good.”

The Patriots lost a lot of quality players from last season. The Patriots hope some new leaders will emerge over the next few weeks of training.

“It’s going to be huge,” Allen said. “The ones we lost last year were real quality players. Every one of them can play and contribute. You always have kids that are going to have to step up and play. Our kids are pretty good about playing wherever it takes. We are going to have to do some things different to conserve energy.”

The Patriots will kick off the season on August 18 when they host Kingwood Christian at 7 p.m.