#HSFT21 Stop #37 – Winston Academy Patriots

Aug 20 Leake Aca. Home
Aug 27 Canton Aca. Away
Sept 3 Noxapater Home
Sept 10 Central Holmes Home
Sept 17 Winona Christian Away
Sept 24 Starkville Aca. Away
Oct 1 St. Joe Home
Oct 8 Wayne Aca. Away
Oct 15 Indianola Aca. Away
Oct 22 Carroll Aca. Home


LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – “We just believed in ourselves more than we did in the past,” senior quarterback Brylee Wall said. “We got it done and met expectations.”

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“Met expectations” is an understatement! In head coach Pat Byrd’s first season, the Patriots won 2 games. Then, they won three games in year two. However, in 2020, the Patriots put it all together, winning seven games, a district title, and falling one game short of a state championship appearance.

“These are the first group of kids that have been here nine through twelve all the way through,” Byrd said. “This group of seniors, they have bought in and understand what it takes to win.”

“One game away from state championship last year,” Wall said. “We’re gonna try to build on that and hopefully get there. Hopefully, win it the best-case scenario. We’re just gonna keep working hard.”

“They made us believe more and just know that we have the skill,” senior linebacker Jack Wooten said. “We have a young team coming up, but they really believe in themselves and they saw us make it to the third round. They know we can get there.”

The man who played a crucial part in the Pats’ success last season was quarterback Brylee Wall. Wall threw for nearly 1800 yards and 13 touchdowns. Entering the new season, coach Byrd has nothing but high praise for his senior quarterback.

“He has such a good understanding for what coach Stanford wants to do on offense,” Byrd explained. “He gives the freedom to change the play at the line of scrimmage. He always gets everyone lined up where they are supposed to. He’s just steady. He’s the same whether he’s throwing an interception, completion, or a touchdown pass.”

His composure will prove clutch for the Patriots. The team is trotting out a new offensive line that’s a little wet around the ears that returns only one starter, but the talent to excel is there!

“I’ve really never seen an o-line work as hard as I have this year,” Wooten said. “Coming extra. Doing everything they can. Getting here early.”

“Everybody asks questions when they don’t know what to do,” Wall said. “That’s the best part of getting better. We just trust our coaches.”

The offensive line isn’t the only group that is inexperienced. Winston Academy replaces five starters from last season’s defense. However, Coach Byrd is confident he has the guys who can handle the job.

“We have good young players that can take those spots,” Byrd said. “They just haven’t done it on a Friday night when the money is on the line yet.”

After a breakthrough season for the program, the Patriots are hungry to run it back!

“It gave us a lot of confidence heading into this year to believe in ourselves and know what we can do and what we can accomplish if we play to our abilities,” Wall said.

Winston Academy hosts Leake Academy on August 20th to start the season.


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