Perfection: JV and Peewee Patriots finish season undefeated
The Pike Liberal Arts peewee and junior varsity football teams concluded their season Tuesday evening against Lakeside.
The Peewee Patriots knocked off the Chiefs 30-0 and the JV Patriots followed that up with a 30-6 win.
The win for both Patriot teams locked up an undefeated 2018 season.
The sixth grade class that makes up the Patriot Pewee team has now gone undefeated in the last four years.
“It means a lot,” said head coach David Bradford. “It’s very special to me because the whole team is a special group of boys. I think what makes them so good is that they are competitive with each other. Any time you have somebody that is competitive, it makes them a better player.”
The JV Patriots entered the 2018 season with a new leader in first-year head coach Brandon Matthews, the Patriots concluded their perfect season with a win over the Chiefs.
“It’s awesome,” Matthews said. “I’m really excited for these guys. It’s something they are going to treasure forever. I am just happy to be a small part of that.”
Even though the sixth grade class has been playing together four four years, each team has been different. This year’s team showed they had intelligence to go along with athleticism.
“They did a lot well,” Bradford said. “They are a very athletic group of kids, but for 11 and 12-year old kids, they understand the game of football more than anything and that helps you out a lot. As a coach, it helps you out when you have kids that understand football.”
The JV Patriots used their run game as a weapon all season long, but as the year went along, their strengths grew.
“We were able to run the ball really effectively,” Matthews said. “Later on, as we developed as a team, we were able to do a little more. We were able to open up the passing game a little bit and our skill guys really grew and developed throughout the year.”
Despite the undefeated record, the JV Patriots never got complacent.
“That’s the biggest challenge,” Matthews said. “We as a team didn’t get complacent. We did not get distracted by records. We continued to improve throughout the season.”
The future for both of these teams and age groups at Pike Liberal Arts is a bright one according to their head coaches.
Bradford hopes his current crop of players stick with playing football.
“My hope and my desire is for them to continue on playing,” Bradford said. “A lot of times people get sidetracked, wanting to play just baseball. My hope is that they keep playing, whether they get playing time or not, it will help them later on.”
Matthews hopes this season could be a building block of future success for the Patriot program.
“My goal is to continue to see them grow,” Matthews said. “See them grow as leaders. I hope this season is kind of a pillar or a foundation for Pike Lib as a whole. A foundation for a successful program.”
Members of the peewee team are Cody Law, Kade Brookins, Cole Garrott, Luke Deloney, Dawson Bradford, Dalton Jordan, Trace Jones, Tucker Vaughn, Avery Menefee, Jackson Booth, Luke Sikes, Weston Garrett, Pruitt Vaughn, Wilson Cotton, Layton Jordan, Peyton Elliot, Luke Barron, Brody Marsh, Dylan Atwell, Rhodes Baker, Coy Bell and Bryaden Pyron.
The JV Patriots include 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.