#HSFT18: Stop No. 37 – Winston Academy Patriots

Aug 17 Newton County Academy Home
Aug 24 Sylva Bay Academy Away
Aug 31 Copiah Academy Home
Sept 7 Indianola Academy Away
Sept 14 East Rankin Academy Home
Sept 21 Starkville Academy* Home
Sept 28 Canton Academy* Away
Oct 5 Heritage Academy* Away
Oct 12 Leake Academy* Home
Oct 19 Winona Christian Away
*District games

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — A new head coach takes charge at Winston Academy.

Former Amory and Saltillo head coach Pat Byrd will lead the Patriots this fall.

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“I don’t know what was in their mind,” said head coach Pat Byrd. “I know what I told them that first day I said if you were waiting on Nick Saban to come in, he ain’t here. It’s me, but you need to understand that you didn’t choose me, but I chose you. Site unseen, and we’re married, and we are going to right this thing out one way or the other.

The team says it’s been a different challenge this summer , but are looking forward to coach Byrd lead the football program.

“He’s a lot more tough,” said senior linebacker Noah Dempsey. “Our workouts are a lot harder, and he helps us grind a lot harder.”

“He’s just a really great coach,” said senior tight end Hoyt Hendrix. “He knows what he’s doing on the defensive side of the ball. Really going over all the coverages well, blitzes and things.”

Winston Academy has ten seniors on this year’s team.

Coach Byrd sees the work his team has put in this summer to strive to get better.

“They get right to it,” Byrd said. “You don’t have to get on to anybody. You don’t have to correct other than technique stuff. The work ethic I couldn’t ask for anything better. They are good kids that want a chance to win.”

The Patriots have struggled in the past with six straight losing seasons.

The last winning season came back in 2011 when the team made the playoffs, and that’s a new goal that the team wants to achieve this season.

“We definitely want to get to the playoffs,” Dempsey said. “That’s definitely an accomplishment, but we are just trying to take it one game at a time and do our best.”

“I think we’ve got to execute a lot,” Hendrix said. “And when we execute and come together as a team, I think we’ll going to be alright.”

“We want to get better every day,” Byrd said. “If we get better every day from day one to the end of the season we will be where we need to be playoff wise, or whatever the situation is. We just want to improve every day.”

Winston Academy will open the season at home against Newton County Academy August 17th.