Patrick Henry Head Coach Keith Braxton (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit804)
We caught up with Patrick Henry Head Coach Keith Braxton at the JayEm 7v7
by Andy Hilton, recruit804
Patrick Henry High School went through a couple of struggles last year.
Quarterback Hunter Hart made a commitment to play college baseball and wasn’t 100% available to lead the team in 2017. Star wide receiver Kaleb Smith saw a flurry of recruiting attention last Spring, committed to Wake Forest, suffered an injury, missed the 2017 and ultimately committed to walk on at Virginia Tech.
There’s hope that the 2018 season will be a little less rocky.
Rising junior quarterback Alex Sikkar (2020 QB 6-0 170) is expected to earn the starting quarterback position.
He could be the leader that the Patriots are looking for.
“Going into this year, it’s his show,” said Head Coach Keith Braxton speaking of Sikkar. “We’re expecting big things out of him. He’s looked great today and he looked great a few weeks ago at Hermitage. Every day in practice, he’s getting better and better and better. He’s taking on the leadership role and his skills are improving. I think we’re going to be just fine at the quarterback spot.”
Indeed, Patrick Henry went into a daunting Hermitage 7-on-7 earlier in June and won the whole tournament. That a big deal for a young team.
“These guys have been playing together since they were in Pee-Wee. There’s a sense of community. There’s a sense of PH pride.”
“We have had about 50 kids every day (for practice/conditioning). The guys are growing up quickly. They’re adjusting to the terminology and the speed of the game. (We’re out here) to find out who’s going to compete,” said Coach Braxton of his team. “The guys that will compete are the guys that will play and win, and be champions.”
After posting a strong 7-3 record in season and finishing at 8-4 in 2016, the Patriots stepped back a little in 2017, finishing 6-4 in the regular season and taking a disheartening 54-6 “L” against Eastern View in the opening round of the playoffs. At that point, their eight-win season in 2016 was their highest win total in a decade.
Coach Braxton is confident he has the numbers to compete. He’s also confident that his guys know how to stick together.
“They’re fighting for each other, which is the way it should be.”
– Andy Hilton
Keith Braxton interview from JayEm 7-on-7