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Patriots wrap up summer practice, excited for the fall

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots wrapped up their final day of summer practice this week and now look forward to starting fall practice on Monday.

The Patriots have spent the last couple of months in the weight room and on the field working on conditioning. With summer practice wrapping up this week, new head coach Mario White likes where his team is.

“It’s been going great,” White said. “We have found out a lot about ourselves. We are learning to push through and the kids are starting to come together. We have so many kids coming from so many different places. They are fighting for another.”

The Patriots closed out summer camp with two 7-on-7 games this week. They played Sparta Academy on Monday and then they took on Autauga on Thursday.

“To see the growth from the first game to the second is outstanding,” White said. “The guys are now knowing when to sit down in zone, knowing when to be in man. They are figuring out what everybody wants to do. To see them communicate with out us and knowing what we are trying to do and accomplish was pretty cool to see.”

It was Pike’s first taste of competition all summer. However, White believes with all the competition during practice and workouts, it was nothing new for his players.

“We make every thing we do every day a competition,” White said. “In the weight room, everything we do conditioning wise is a competition. It was just another day for us. We treat every day the same. You never know when the good Lord is going to shut this thing down again, so we enjoy every rep and compete every rep.”

Teams are allowed to officially start fall practice beginning on Monday. The Patriots aren’t wasting any time. White and the Patriots are planning to hold a practice beginning at 12:01 on Monday morning.

“I thought it was going to be a fun thing for the kids and the coaches,” White said. “We have been ready to get things going officially. Thursday marked our last day of summer and the guys are ready to get going. They are going to let us start on Monday so we figured let’s start right as the day is getting started.”

It will be a normal day of practice for the Patriots, only later.

“We’ll come out and stretch and do some special teams,” White said. “We will go right into individual drills and do some team stuff. We will get some conditioning in as well.”

When the season does start teams will have to adhere to new safety guidelines that have been put into place by the AISA.

“I think everything Mr. Beck and the AISA is doing is keeping everybody safe,” White said. “I commend that group in Montgomery for everything they are doing to get us on the field. We are willing to take any measures we can in order to get us back on the field.”

The Patriots were supposed to open the season on August 21 against Freeport in Florida, but the game has been canceled. Instead, the Patriots will open the season a week later when they host Crenshaw on August 28.