After a disappointing loss to end last season, the Seymour Panthers are hungry to get back to the playoffs. Head coach Keith Ivy returns several starters in key positions, including senior
quarterback Zach Barton.
"We have some key pieces back to the puzzle, especially in our skill positions," Ivy said. "We have our quarterback, running back, and a couple of receivers back."
"It's very important coming into the season having some of your timings down with your receivers," Barton said. "And a lot of guys know the keys and what to look for on defense."
If you know Seymour football, then you know the Barton family. Zach is the fourth son to play for the Panthers, and the third to start at quarterback.
"My brothers help me out a lot on what I should look for, what's going on, what I'm doing with my mechanics and whatnot," Barton said. "They just try to help me out every year."
Barton is entering his third season as the starting quarterback for the Panthers. His coaches and teammates will rely heavily on his leadership this season as they hope to make a deep run into the playoffs.
"Zach's a special kid," says coach Ivy. "He does a great job going out, being a true leader of the offense."
Senior halfback and safety John Mitchell agrees: "We all depend on Zach to be a great leader. We know that he won't let us down."
In a district that features powerhouse teams like Windthorst and Quanah, the Panthers know they will have their work cut out for them this season.
"We've got a real competitive district from top to bottom," Ivy said. "I think everybody is going to be hard to beat week in and week out."
The Panthers have never won a state championship in almost a hundred years on the football field.
This year, as defending district champions, they hope to take the next step and bring a state title to Seymour.
"It'd be great," Barton says. "It'd almost be like a dream come true knowing it's your last year and finishing out on a high note."
"This year, we're a new team," says Mitchell. "We've got new uniforms and we're ready to go. It's going to be a different outcome in the playoffs."