Sustaining Seymour Success

10-4, 8-4, 9-2, 8-5. Those are Seymour's last four season records, all ending with trips to the postseason. In the high school football world that features kids graduating, moving or simply leaving yearly, those numbers are impressive.

"(In) different years we've made some runs, and we want to protect that tradition," head coach Rocky Smart said.

The Panther players gladly take on the responsibility of maintaining team success. Senior running back/cornerback Dalton Pullin says you never want to be the team that breaks tradition.

Coach Smart respects the past success, but he's quick to point out that every year is a new year and that games won last year don't carry over to this year.

"We're making history right now with what we're doing (this season)," Smart said. "We're just working to be the best team we can be."

Being the best team involves winning a district championship and making a deep run in the playoffs. It's always the yearly goal at Seymour.

But this year poses a big challenge: only eight starters are returning from last year's team.

"We try and develop our young kids the best you can," Smart said. "You try and give them reps throughout the year so that this year, now that's it their turn, they know the system on offense and defense, and they're able to step in."

Pullin says the young players are stepping up and making plays in practice. He and fellow senior Tyler Baker, a wide receiver and safety, are doing their best to provide advice and encouragement.

Baker reminds them that it's a long season with lots of ups and downs. Pullin tells them to simply go out there and be the best person you can be.

"No one's going to be mad at you for you giving it your all," Pullin said.

Smart is backing up his players, both young and veteran.

"There are a lot of big shoes to fill," he said. "I think we got the guys to do it just because of how they've prepared themselves over the last spring and summer."

The first test is when they host Jacksboro on August 26th to open the season.