VAN ALSTYNE, TX -- The Van Alstyne Panthers are back returning virtually everyone from their area finalist campaign a year ago.
"We're here to build off of what we did last year, we don't have time to start back over and have to start from the ground up again, we're able to come back from day one and kind of pick up where we left off," head coach Mikeal Miller said.
The goal is a district championship. That's the same every year and will never change.
They'd play for one against Pottsboro in last season's week eight ultimately falling. The Cardinals meanwhile would take their third title in a row.
Now they're back in the same district again and the Panthers are hopeful they can end the streak.
"It's huge for us. I mean that was a huge game last year, we all were very disappointed after that game, it was close, could've went either way and we're just ready to go back at them," senior quarterback Alex Phillips said.
"Those guys have had a lot of success and obviously have a great program over there and kind of envious and that's kind of where we want to be when it's all said and done," Miller added.
To accomplish their goal, they'll need a big season from Phillips. He spent last year bulldozing his way to 21 rushing touchdowns while tossing for another six.
" I know what to expect going out there, I have a whole season under my belt now and I'm just ready to go out there and compete," he said.
Phillips and the other 16 seniors will lead the way and with all the experience they feel like they can make a push toward AT&T Stadium.
"We'll know what to expect in those couple round games when the weather is really bad and the real leaders step up and what it takes to be one of those three, four round deep teams," senior cornerback and receiver Kearon Redmon concluded.