VAN ALSTYNE, TX. -- 2018 could be a special season for the Van Alstyne Panthers.
"I'm super pumped," Callies said. "this is probably the most pumped I've ever been for a football season. Just ready to go out there and hit some people."
The Panthers have a core of seniors that have been contributing since they were sophomores
"As a staff, we've sat down and decided one of the missing factors is just our leadership," Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller said. "Not just in the playoffs, but all season long. We're accountable to each other now as we will be when we get to the playoffs."
"We have something to prove after these past couple of years," Callies said. Going to the first round and losing, we definitely have something to prove this year."
The Panthers will get their shot at the team that keeps knocking them out of the playoffs well before the season ends. As Sunnyvale comes to town in week 2.
"That would be a motivating factor and a big game," Miller said. "Especially for our seniors, to be able to get some kind of revenge against those guys and be the first group that actually beats them."
"Everybody would be ecstatic," Van Alstyne senior Justin Barnes said. "Everybody would love it."
That win would be nice, but the Panthers have their eyes set on taking home a district championship.
"It's going to be pretty tough, but I think we've got it this year," Barnes said. "I think we've got a district championship. We know our mistakes and we are fixing them all right now."
"It's just the atmosphere here," Callies said. "We're all brothers here. We all know and love each other. We're going to go out and do anything (it takes)."
Van Alstyne opens the season August 31st at home against Aubrey.