BELLS, TX -- Expectations are high for the Bells Panthers this season. They are returning 18 starters and have one of the most explosive offenses in 2A. The Panthers know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve their goal.
"It's my last year, so, I just want to work hard and set an example for the younger guys," quarterback Derrick Ponder said.
"We lead by example and hopefully the younger guys see that and follow in our footsteps," wide receiver Ethan Sanford added.
"I want to play hard and encourage the younger guys to play well. Plan to lead by example and win a lot of games," linebacker Jace Lester said.
Coach Scott Ponder sees the hard work and can win attitude from his athletes.
"It's exciting, the kids have worked hard, very excited about getting off to a good start. The kids have had a great summer. We've worked hard, we have over seventy guys come out to play football, and for a 2A school, those are great numbers. We cannot wait to get started, and step out and try to do some big things," the second year head coach said.
He's hoping one of those big things will be a district championship. But this Bells football team knows it needs to happen one game at a time.
"Well our main goal is just to win games. Our short term goal is win the district championship. Then we will go from there. Being out here with my team again we are pumped to play football again," Lester said.
Those wins will be even more exciting now that their stadium is sporting brand new turf.
"Our field was in pretty bad shape. We got new lights, turf and new scoreboard. Our school district, administration, school board and community had made a huge commitment to giving these kids a chance to be successful," Ponder added.
The Panthers are nabbed as a dark horse in 2A-D1. So, their eyes are set on the big time prize.
"16-0, obviously state championship, that's the goal," Sanford concluded.