COAL CITY, WV (WVNS) — Before the Independence Patriots even put their pads on, they were already thinking about expectations for the season.
“Undefeated season, state championship, that’s what everybody wants. That’s the goal at the beginning of the season,” Senior quarterback Logan Phalin said.
However, that is usually everyone’s goal; everybody wants to make it to the end. Wanting it is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out how to get there. Senior running back Atticus Goodson said the Patriots are confident they have the answer.
“Just coming out here playing to the best of our ability, every game improving, fixing our mistakes and winning a state championship,” Atticus said.
Those are key points that are all easier said than done. The Patriots know not to waste a single repetition during the off season leading up to game time.
“Everybody is looking good. We just need to improve, like every team. From the start of practice, we only want to get better every day,” Phalin said.
On day one, the Patriots worked to fine-tune every aspect of their play, in order to perform to the best of their ability come week one.
Week one is a tough test for the Patriots. They look to reclaim the “Battle of 76” trophy against Liberty.
“I think it should be a really good game, I think we are hungry to get that trophy back,” Goodson said.
Head Coach John Lilly understands the importance of the “Battle of 76”. He already has his sights on the next nine weeks and beyond. With a volatile group of veterans on the team and underclassmen with playmaking potential, his man focus is playing well at full speed.
“Well, we got Atticus Goodson back; we got Logan Phalin back. We have 18 starters back now; we are just focusing on getting faster,” Lilly said.
Coach Lilly believes doing so will help them reach the playoffs again and will help them achieve their larger goal in the postseason.
“Our goal right now is to get deeper in the playoffs than we have in the past,” Lilly said.
Independence will travel to Glen Daniel to take on Liberty on Friday, August 27, 2021.