Patriots ready and excited for new season

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Pike Liberal Arts volleyball team is primed and ready for the start of the 2017 season on Thursday night.

The Patriots will open up the season at home against Northside beginning with the junior varsity at 4 p.m.

“We are very excited,” said head coach Hayden Wilson. “The girls have worked extremely hard. We have had long practice throughout, but now with school starting back we have had shorter practices that are faster paced. We are all really excited.”

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2017 brings Pike’s third coach in as many years. After struggling for much of last season, Wilson’s message to her new team is to wipe the slate clean.

“I had a talk with them today (Monday) and told them that I don’t want any negativity or anything to worry about in previous years,” Wilson said. “They are all very talented. They are a good group and they really get along with one another. Teamwork will win ballgames and as long as they have that and they stay positive I have high hopes for us.”

The Patriots have just four returning players from last season’s team and under Wilson, the team is learning how to come together as a cohesive unit.

“There a lot of newcomers,” Wilson said. “Those younger players are really going to have to step up and the seniors are going to have to lead by example. There are a lot of girls that have never played before and that is a big thing. We have had a couple that have never played before, but they are really good athletes.”

Wilson herself is also new to the Patriots. To make sure she is ready for the task, she has enlisted the help of fellow coaches this summer including Enterprise assistant coach Callie White.

“That has benefited me tremendously, not just the help of the coaches but of the players” Wilson said. “We work together as a team, we talk as a team and we strategize as a team. With us working together, I believe we have built something really good.”

The goal for the Patriots in year one under Wilson is simple and straightforward.

“To win that is the goal,” Wilson said. “It’s all in their hands. As long as they stay positive they will win. I want this to be an exciting year and a learning experience for them. I want to go in and show how much we have worked and how much better we are.”