#HSFT18: Stop No. 36 – Heritage Academy Patriots

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1197
CLASS AAA | REGION 2
HEAD COACH: Sean Harrison
Aug 17 Kirk Aca. Home
Aug 24 TCPS Away
Aug 31 Wayne Aca. Away
Sept 7 Lamar Away
Sept 14 Pillow Aca. Home
Sept 21 Magnolia Heights Home
Sept 28 Leake Aca.* Away
Oct 5 Winston Aca.* Home
Oct 12 Starkville Aca.* Away
Oct 19 Canton Aca.* Home
*District games

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Anticipation and momentum are building for the Heritage Academy Patriots heading into the 2018 season.

Last season, the Patriots finished 9-3 before falling into the second round of the playoffs to Adams County Christian.

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“It’s confidence we’ve had around here that we haven’t had since I’ve been here,” said head coach Sean Harrison. “They feel like they can win. It’s not just me preaching it now, but I want to see it.”

After losing that playoff game last November, it’s been a new mentality for the team heading into a new season.

“We’ve got to make sure they we stick to our fundamentals,” said junior receiver Jared Long. “We can’t forget the fundamentals. Fundamentally sound. Teams with athletes always win. We’ve got to stay prepared. Stay ready for any and every obstacle that comes to us.”

“We’ve worked a lot harder,” said senior lineman Parker Ray. “The seniors this year are just trying to lead the team to push themselves to go farther.”

Eight seniors return for the 2018 season on a team that brings back eighteen starters.

This team expects more this season with their goals and expectations.

“Definitely a state championship,” said senior receiver Moak Griffin. “Nothing short of that since Starkville Academy won it last year, It’s kind of motivated us a lot just because they’re our rivals and stuff. That’s what we are looking forward to.”

“That’s never good enough not making it all the way,” said junior lineman Eli Acker. “And just having a lot of things motivate us this off season. Have a lot of things push us, and some things that the rivals over there did to make us mad, so we are ready to go.”

Coach Harrison enters his third year in coaching the Patriots, and he has seen his guys take that next step into that leadership role.

“This is a committed group,” Harrison said. “A group that loves football, and that’s a big part of it obviously. They came up here like last night somebody sent me a picture and I didn’t even know they were up here working out and throwing. They are a group that wants to win.”

Heritage Academy last won a state title in 2012.

The Patriots want to accomplish what their rivals in Starkville did last season.

“This year the plan is to win a state championship right,” Long said. “We are going to go do that. We are going to do it perfect. We are going to go undefeated. We are going to play hard. We are going to prepare for every opponent. Come out on top. Do it this year, and do it again next year. Leave out of here my senior year on a good note.”

Heritage Academy opens the season August 17th at home against Kirk Academy.