APEX, N.C. (WNCN) — Apex Friendship will take the field on Friday night the top seed in the 4AA East playoffs. Getting to this point has been quite a journey for the Patriots.
This is just the fifth year Friendship has been playing varsity football. But a strong senior class has allowed the Patriots to flourish at such an early stage.
“This senior class is so unique,” bragged Friendship head coach Adam Sanders. “They are the first senior class that actually had seniors when they came in the building.”
“So this senior class has seen every senior class and they’ve seen their leadership. We talk all the time years ago about building a strong foundation for years to come and that’s exactly what those guys did.”
Right from the start, Sanders build a program that would be a fixture in the community. Young kids have taken notice and can’t wait to be a part of it.
“I saw the stadium and all the fans and thought this will be a cool place to play,” said senior wide receiver Payton Bloom. “It was kind of cool being a part of something you see grow and keep going. When I came here it was only the second year they ever had a season so you kind of feel like you helped start it and grow it and so it’s pretty cool.”
This Patriots team has thrived during this unique time. The pandemic forced players to take control of their teams because coaches were not allowed to lead practices. That’s when a strong senior class can make a difference. It did at Apex Friendship.
“We didn’t even have a date on when we could start,” explained senior linebacker Alex Lowell. “We were just trying to make the best of it. We finally got out here and we were on the track, in the parking lot then finally got on the field and here we are.”
Yep, here they are. Undefeated and the top dog in the East. A meteoric rise for a program half a decade in the making.