Patriots receive state championship rings

Published 8:47 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

The Meet the Patriots Rally on Friday night began with the two-time state champion baseball team receiving their championship rings for the second consecutive season.

Last August, the Patriot baseball team was honored and received their rings after winning their first state championship since 2012. On Friday night, they were received their second ring.

“It’s very special for the kids and obviously I am very excited,” said head baseball coach Allen Ponder. “As a school and a program we are extremely blessed and we have had a lot of things go our way.”

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Friday night’s ring ceremony kicked off the evening proceedings at the Meet the Patriots and coach ponder believes it was a direct reflection of the family atmosphere at Pike.

“We are trying to be the standard that everyone reaches for,” Ponder said. “In this league, we want everyone to try and strive to be like our program. We try to preach to our kids that on and off the field that not only representing the name across the jersey but they are also representing their last name. They are representing not only their team, but they are representing their family. We have had a lot of teams that have bought in and I think tonight is a direct result of that.”

In front of a festive atmosphere at Pike Liberal Arts on Friday, each fall sport team was introduced to the Patriot faithful. To be able to get their rings in that festive atmosphere made it that much more special for Ponder and the Patriot baseball team.

“There aren’t a lot of people that realize how much work goes into this,” Ponder said. “It takes a lot of work to not only have a good baseball team, but to build a family. To win the championship you have to have team chemistry. For the kids to be honored tonight in front of their friends and family is well-deserved.”

Receiving their rings two years in a row means the baseball program is becoming consistent. They have been to Montgomery three seasons in a row and have won the last two.

“We like to live by the motto that tradition does not graduate,” Ponder said. “This is the third year in a row we have made it to the state championship. I think these kids are starting to understand what the standard is every year. They enjoy the pressure and the bullseye. I think that’s the sign of our program getting to where we have always wanted it to be.”

There were special guests in the house for the ring ceremony as the Patriots welcomed back graduates Jade Sikes, Cody Hollis, Chandler Golden, Trevor Barron, Clay Barron, Max Copeland and Tristan Carter to Pike.

“Tonight for these kids is about getting championship rings,” Ponder said. “Tonight for me is about bringing this team that I love back. We bled together and we sweated together every single day. It’s a chance for me to get everybody back together one more time. That’s why it’s special for me.

“I am really close to these kids. I had them for a long time, so for me getting them back and spending some time with them is what is most fun for me.”