The Seymour Panthers are accustomed to multiple round playoff runs, but Head Coach Keith Ivey says his first season as head coach in his hometown last year left a bad taste in the teams mouth after falling in their first playoff game.
But with a senior heavy class, Ben Coker shows us why this Panthers squad could be one of the most exciting Texoma teams in 2013.
A walkoff win in overtime at home against Quanah secured the district title for Seymour last season, one of the best finishes we saw all year.
But an early playoff exit less than a month later left these Panthers preying on the start of the 2013 season.
"We're the real deal this year, we got everything at every position. If you think we gonna throw, we might run it, if you think we're gonna run it, we might throw it, so we can score at every position at anytime if we want to," said Cody Adams.
The town of Seymour has kept a close eye on quarterback Zach Barton since he began lighting up scoreboards in junior high. He enters his final season with big expectations.
"It's a good weight to carry on your shoulder, but also, it's fun. that's how the game is supposed to be played and it's just gonna be fun," said Zach Barton.
"Coach on the field, great leader, work ethic is super, he's just a year older now, more mature, more developed, so we expect huge things out of him."
Barton threw for 1800 yards and 25 TDs in 2012, 11 of those TD passes to fellow senior Cody Adams. He's the big threat again this year along with senior Baltazar Castro and a slew of other talented targets.
"Every year, they got good hands.. Coach Bibb does a great job working with em. Every single day, how to run the routes to perfection. I can't even describe how good it is."
"They're big playmakers. We've gotta spread the ball around, the good thing about it is, we can do that, we don't have to single in on one kid, one receiver," said Coach Ivey.
Two new weapons transferred in. Rawlin Morrell, a key part of back to back 6-man championships in Throckmorton will see time at receiver and defensive back.
"I tell you what he's a heck of football player, he gets after it, I love his attitude, he comes to work every single day," Ivey said.
And Treston Shepherd, who Coach Ivey had two years ago in Electra. Shepherd will see time in the backfield with senior John Mitchell who has become one the areas more dynamic and exciting players.
"He was the district MVP last year and really last year was his first year to play back there, so he came on strong there at the end, and look at him to get better," said Ivey.
Coach Ivey says creating turnovers is a main focus this season and feels he has a defense that will get after the football and make big plays. Senior Davis Carter comes off a 140+ tackle season to anchor the Panther defense.
"I think we'll be real strong up front, and then in the secondary, we have guys who have played offense mostly in past years but now they get to play both ways and see what they can there and I think they're gonna do really well," Davis Carter said.
The feeling in Seymour is that this could be a season to remember thanks to experience and an off-season dedicated to improvement.
"Getting stronger, faster and better at the positions we play, watching films and understanding how other teams work and react to what we're gonna do," said Carter.
"Definitely looking forward to playing under the lights. playing for my town, just making the most out of every moment," Adams said.
"They deserve a big year, they really do, they've worked extremely hard through the off-season, we want them to go out on a good note, a go deep and hopefully into December," said Ivey.
"We just want to win a bunch of ballgames, get to the playoffs and of course after that we want titles, and we just wanna win championships, get to Dallas Cowboys Stadium and win us a ring," Adams said.
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