Last go around: Allen hopes to close career on a high note

Published 6:21 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots will have a new look when they hit the football field next Friday night. One of the familiar faces will be that of senior wide receiver Davis Allen.

The Patriots finished with a 10-1 regular season record and secured a spot in the postseason. Following the season, the Patriots were forced to say goodbye to key seniors including Cody Hollis, Jade Sikes and Max Copeland.

Allen will be one of the key returning player on the offensive side of the ball for the Patriots this season. Allen and the Patriots are currently in week two of preseason preparations in advance of their season opener against Morgan Academy on August 23.

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“It’s been good; we have had good practice with good energy,” Allen said. “Everybody is ready to get the games started.”

It’s been a different sort of offseason for Allen. He prepared for his last season in a Patriot helmet knowing he will be looked upon as a leader on the team.

“It’s been special for me knowing it’s going to be my last year,” Allen said. “I have been working on being a leader, but it’s been fun.”

The Patriots didn’t throw the ball often a season ago, but Allen was part of a receiving core that helped lead the way for Patriot running back Hollis and quarterback Sikes. When he wasn’t on offense, Allen spent time as a defensive back under defensive coordinator Robert Rollan and coach Will Austin.

“I want to be able to contribute more on offense and defense,” Allen said. “I want to be a better teammate for my teammates.”

Allen spent many seasons with the Patriots during his time  Pike Liberal Arts. Despite not making it to the state championship in Troy last season, it’s a memory that Allen will remember. Allen hopes his team can take another step forward this season.

“Last year didn’t end the way we wanted it to, we wanted to make it to state and play in Troy,” Allen said. “This year is a new year and we are trying to improve every day.”

Although receiver would be considered his primary position, Allen believes he has improved on defense thanks to Rollan. From head coach Gene Allen to former offensive coordinator Arlton Hudson, Allen has learned a lot from his coaching staff.

“Our motto for this year is make the transition,” Allen said. “Our coaching staff has been really positive and it’s been a lot of fun. They are wanting do the little things right and they have been teaching those to us. It’s been really good.”

When not playing football, Allen spends his spring playing baseball for the Patriots. Allen and the Patriots recently wrapped up their second-straight state championship and he believes that success will pay dividends on the football field.

“It helps to play multiple sports because it helps you work as a team,” Allen said. “(Winning state) helps us feel more comfortable in those types of situations. We know we have been there before and we want to get back to that feeling.”

With one more season remaining, Allen hopes to end it on a high note by playing in the state championship game inside Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“We just want to end up in Troy,” Allen said. “It would be really special with it being my last year.”