By David Jenkins
The key to the Panthers success over the past several years has been the dedication of its athletes.
They expect for that to continue during the coming 2015 campaign.
“The kids come to compete every day, that is the best thing about these kids,” head coach Lee Wilkins said. “We are never going to pass the eye test when we get off the bus. We are not going to be the fastest or the biggest, but what we are going to do is compete each and every day. There is no game that they go in that they think they are outmanned or they are going to get beat. There is no lead too big if we are ahead or behind. They are always going to compete and find a way to win.”
A big part of that dedication has come from the 27 seniors, most of which were starters as juniors last season.
“The kids do a good job and make our jobs extremely easy when they come ready to work each and every day, and want to get better,” Wilkins said.
After finishing second to Texarkana Liberty-Eylau in District 7-4A Div. I in 2014, the Panthers are looking for retribution.
“I think our kids are going to go out and compete for a (district) title,” Wilkins said. “I think we will give them both (Paris and Liberty-Eylau) a good game.”
Also in that grouping are Paris, Paris North Lamar, Pittsburg and Quinlan Ford.
“It is a tough district for sure,” Wilkins said. “Paris and Liberty-Eylua are going to be good. I wouldn’t look past Pittsburg and (Quinlan) Ford though. Last year (Paris) North Lamar beat us. Paris and Liberty-Eylau are the front runners.”
Princeton’s schedule will flip this season, as they are scheduled to play three home games in non-district.
Those are against Fort Worth Arlington Heights (Sept. 4), Greenville (Sept. 11) and Crandall (Sept. 18 for Homecoming).
“To be honest I would have rather had it the other way around last year,” Wilkins said. “The way that the schedule mapped out we just couldn’t do it. Obviously it is always better to play at home. Any time you can play at home it has its benefits. We are going to need to play at home to have a chance to beat Greenville, Arlington Heights and Crandall.”
Other games are on the road against Frisco Independence (Aug. 27 at Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium) and Gainesville (Sept. 25).
“I think our non-district schedule is one of the toughest that we’ve had in a while,” Wilkins said. “I’m not looking forward to those games, I can tell you that. I think it’s going to be a ball game each and every week.”
During district the Panthers welcome Paris (Oct. 16) and Pittsburg (Oct. 30 for Senior Night) to town, and travel to Quinlan Ford (Oct. 9), North Lamar (Oct. 23) and Liberty-Eylau (Nov. 6).
All games start at 7:30 p.m.