VAN ALSTYNE, Texas (KTEN) - The Van Alstyne Panthers have shown consistently over the years that they can win games and play into November. However, in 2023 the roster will be heavily composed with younger players.

"Hopefully they know what our standards are and what our expectations are," said Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller. "Hopefully just keeping all those consistent and our coaches are doing a great job every day of making sure all of our kids are held to the same standard."

Van Alstyne prides themselves on being a physical team. That was apparent in 2022 with dual threat quarterback Dakota Howard but he's now graduated and so have four of their five starting offensive lineman, leaving Zachary Thomas the lone senior there to be the vocal leader.

"Really it is just get in there, don't hesitate, don't stand off in the back," said Van Alstyne senior left tackle Zachary Thomas. "We got 10 seniors this year, so if you're a junior step up, if you're a sophomore step up. "You never know what can happen. The worst thing that can happen is you mess up but mess up going 100 percent."

With some new players, it gives chances for new styles of play and the Panthers are optimistic they can move the ball through the air in 2023.

"Obviously last year, we were a run first team and I think this year our passing will shock a lot of people," said junior Brady Carson. "That's what we've been working all offseason I think that will be one of our strengths."

Even though this years team might lack experience, Van Alstyne will not settle, with eyes on the top of the district once again.

"We've got a little bit of doubt this year but we're coming for it," said Carson.

The Panthers kick off the season on August 25 at Pottsboro.