Football team set for Friday night lights

The Panthers will celebrate senior night before their season opener.


Arleigh Doehring

The football team opens its season on Friday against South Houston at Turner Stadium. They scrimmaged against Galena Park last week at home.

Arleigh Doehring, Photography Editor

The football team opens its season at Turner Stadium on Friday against South Houston. Coach Clayton Maple said their plan is simple: just take it day by day.

“To be honest, [the goal is for them] to improve themselves,” Maple said. “A little bit everyday is what we talk about. Don’t worry about these big things. Go into your position meeting, learn what you need to learn and go out there and do it that day. Improve yourself as a football player, as a student, as a person.”

Kickoff for the season opener is set for 7 p.m. It will also be senior night.

Maple said the Panthers’ strength this year is their experience on both sides of the ball. They also have strong leadership from players including junior Pierce Richards, senior Grant Golden, junior Erik Contreras and senior Bane Klinefelter.

“What I’m so excited about is to be back here together and being together,” Maple said. “Just getting out there for the first time at Turner Stadium on Friday. I’m most looking forward to that first home game in front of our fans with our 2021 football team.”

Last season, the team finished 4-6 and did not reach the playoffs. They are looking to fill voids of seniors graduating at quarterback and running back. 

Along with key leaders, they also have 28 returning players. Last year’s starting quarterback and leading rusher both graduated. That leaves key spots open for new players to make an impact.

Early in the season, one of the biggest keys for the players is coming together. 

“To be successful, we could work on our chemistry,” junior Luke Shoelen said. “We’re a pretty young team and all trying to be friends.”