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Patriots host Wayne Grant and Crenshaw Christian

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots open the 2020 season on Friday night at home against Crenshaw Christian Academy.

The Patriots was supposed to open the season last Friday, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19. Now, the Patriots turn their attention to a team coached by Wayne Grant.

“It’s funny out God works things out,” head coach Mario White said. “I’m a first time head coach going up against a legend in coach Grant. I am truly honored to be on the same field as him. I know what he brings to the table. I expect them to be very physical and hit us right in the mouth. I’m excited to have them at Pike Lib. It’s going to be a night to remember.”

After an open week last week, this will be Crenshaw Christian’s first game of the season.

The Patriots took on defending state champion Bessemer in a preseason game two weeks ago. The Patriots lost that game 14-7, but they learned plenty about themselves as they head into the season.

“We have a lot we have to clean up,” Grant said. “I believe in getting good at what you do. We are going get better at what we do. We aren’t going to reinvent the wheel. I know how I like to do things. I think the boys believe in what we do.”

The Cougars made it all the way to the state championship in Troy two years ago before making it to the semifinals last season. Coach Grant and the Cougars made the trip to Troy for last season’s opener and knocked off the Patriots 27-13. They finished the season undefeated. Their season came to a close when they lost to Southern Academy in the semifinals.

The Patriots have worked all summer under the notion that the season could be called any day. They never took anything for granted and because of that, White believes his team will be ready to play Friday night.

“We treat every single day like it’s a game day,” White said. “We are excited about it and the opportunity. Whether it’s a Friday or a Monday, we come ready because you never know when the good Lord is going to shut it down. No anxiety, the boys are just ready to play.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.