JV Patriots enjoying success under Mathews

Published 6:24 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Pike Liberal Arts Junior Varsity football team knocked off Crenshaw Christian 40-0 on Tuesday afternoon to start 4-0 under new head coach Brandon Matthews.

Year one is about more than wins and losses for Matthews. He is building a culture, one that grows young men into future leaders.

“The primary goal for us is to develop them into leaders,” Matthews said. “When you’re trying to build a successful program for any athletic (team) you have to have not only a strong varsity, but junior varsity and peewee.”

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The Patriots were successful on Tuesday night when they scored 24 first half points on their way to a 40-point win.

“I challenged them to play a complete game and they did,” Matthews said. “We were able to play a lot of people and develop them. That’s always a good thing for a coach to develop a roster.”

The goal for any junior varsity player is to one day strap on the helmet and shoulder pads for the varsity team. Varsity head coach Gene Allen has his hands in the football program from top to bottom.

“Coach Allen has been great,” Matthews said. “We try to work together to make sure we are instilling the right values and characteristics in our program, including the junior varsity level. It’s so important.”

On the field the Patriots boast a strong running attack that features quarterback Jayden Jordan and running back Davis Kilcrease.

“We can run the ball really well,” Matthews said. “We have a good offensive line. They’re a seasoned group that knows what they’re doing. It gives us an opportunity to do a lot of good things. We will run the ball about 80 percent of the time and we can do it pretty well too.”

Size plays a big role in the Patriots’ success this season.

“We have some great size,” Matthews said.  “It’s helpful from an intimidation standpoint. People don’t like playing us, but they can back up their size.”

The Patriots have four more games remaining on their schedule, three of which will be at home. In that time, Matthews wants to continue to mold his young players.

“I really want to develop these guys as leaders,” Matthews said. “I spend a lot of time off the field talking with them about the importance of being a leader. I want to see them grow and mature in that regard. I want to see them grow and see them play selflessly and not selfishly.”

Despite the undefeated start, Matthews doesn’t want that to distract his team from their vision.

“We need to remained focused,” Matthews said. “Not to steal Neal Brown’s 1-0 mentality, but we need to stay focused on the task at hand.”

Members of the Junior Varsity Patriots are Owen Law, Morgan Sanders, Drew Nelson, Cade Renfroe, Peyton Jacobs, Parker Adams, Kase Chirico, Skylar Kidd, Andrew Adams, KC Bradford, Jayden Jordan, Cannon McClain, Davis Kilcrease, Jackson Cleveland, Frankie Jefcoat, Kade Dendy, Jace Calhoun, Davis Menefee, Colton Taylor, Gage Horn, Landon Johnson and Bubba Dean.

The Patriots travel on Tuesday to pla Abbeville.