Patriots ready for preseason jamboree

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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The Pike Lib Patriots will open up the 2023 football season with a preseason jamboree at home against Highland Home on Aug. 18.

In the first year under head coach William Moguel, the Patriots have been fighting the unprecedented heat the Wiregrass area has been hit with this summer.

“It’s been going well, we’re just battling this heat,” Moguel said. “The kids have been working hard and trying to get the culture that we want to build here instilled. They’re accepting it and have done everything we’ve asked of them.”

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The Patriots opened the 2022 season with a preseason jamboree against Highland Home and will host the Flying Squadron this time around. Pike Lib and Highland Home’s varsity will play for the first half followed by the junior varsity playing the second half.

“I just want to see hustle,” Moguel said. “I tell our guys all the time, ‘If you’re out here, you’re out here for a reason.’ I want full effort, full speed and enjoy playing and have fun. If we can take care of the little things, I think we’ll be okay. I just want to see us continue to grow this week.”

Heading into the regular season, Moguel says that growth is the most important part for his Patriots.

“The game might not mean anything in the sense that it’s a preseason game but it means we have an opportunity to get better and that’s what we need to do,” he said. “I want to see a big jump from week one to week two, so when we open up (the regular season) against Zion (Chapel) we’ll be better than we were this week. We just have to continue to work on our craft and keep getting better.”

Pike Lib returns a few starters from last season but Moguel said that he’s been impressed with the work all of his players have put in this offseason, despite the adversity they’ve had to overcome.

“Being here with these kids for the last year, I know they work hard,” said Moguel. “I was telling someone the other day that you don’t have to tell them to do something more than one time. Everyone has done what is expected of them.

“Someone that has excelled this offseason has been our quarterback, Dawson Bradford, who has stepped up. Jack Baggett has been a leader for us, too. We really have a great junior class – only three seniors – that are helping our older guys lead the way and are doing a great job.”

Pike Lib and Highland Home will kickoff at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Dewight Ward Field on the campus of Pike Liberal Arts School in Troy.