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|CLASS MAIS | REGION 5A
|HEAD COACH: Sean Harrison|
|Aug 21||Jackson Prep||Away|
|Aug 28||Kirk Academy||Home|
|Sept 4||Magnolia Heights*||Home|
|Sept 18||Bayou Academy*||Home|
|Sept 25||Pillow Academy*||Away|
|Oct 16||Starkville Academy*||Home|
|Oct 23||Washington School*||Away|
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — 2019 was a banner year for the Heritage Academy Patriots.
An undefeated season, capped off with the Patriot’s first state title in seven seasons.
The question now is: can Heritage Academy have that same success in 2020?
“We had a really talented senior class, but those guys are gone now,” head coach Sean Harrison said. “We have a lot of young talent that would’ve played a lot of places last year. Really excited for those guys this year to get their opportunity. They’re really excited, you know, I think they’re tired about hearing about that senior class. They’re excited to get out there and show what they can do.”
“I think we just have to get closer and start playing together,” senior WR/S Sam Hannon said.
Some big playmakers that Patriots will have to replace are wide receiver Jared Long, running back KJ Smith and Quarterback Carter Putt.
All three combined for over 5000 yards of the Patriots offense during the 2019 season.
“You don’t replace any of them. It was a special group with a lot of talent, but we have a wonderful group to build around now. That’s the plan–to go out and get these guys reps and watch them grow up over the next three years,” Harrison said.
“Just step-up,” senior defensive lineman John Jackson said. “First person to step-up, come harder. Same thing we did last year but better.”
However, Harrison remains impressed with his current group and will look to players such as wide receiver Wesley Miller, defensive lineman John Jackson and sophomore Mack Howard, who steps in as the Patriots starting Q-B.
“He’s grown a lot. Put on some weight. His understanding of the offense has improved tremendously. He’s making that jump from a 9th grader to a sophomore. He’s a little bit ahead of what I expected and I’m excited for that,” Harrison said.
While this current Heritage Academy team has moved on from last year’s championship victory, knowing how to win still proves to beneficial.
“These guys have gotten used to winning. They understand we have some learning to do but at the end of the day we expect to go win every game we play,” Harrison said.
“A lot of pressure. Lot of people coming out the, but just do the same thing. Have fun. Have fun, just stick together and play,” Jackson said.
“Just have to push everybody the hardest. Make the young guys step-up and do all we can do,” Hannon said.
The Patriots began the search for back-to-back state titles with the season opener against Jackson Prep on August 21st.
“We’re doing the same thing we did last year but even better,” Jackson said.
“We plan on coming out with all we got,” Hannon said.