SAINT JO, TX (KAUZ) - Our Training Camp Road Trip continues in Montague county, and District 12-1A Div. I with the Saint Jo Panthers.
They have a new head coach and a deep roster that they're hoping can make a playoff run.
"I think we bring a decent number back," said coach Derek Schlieve. "And the hope is this year we can build a decent foundation."
Coach Schlieve is entering his first season as head coach of the Panthers. He comes over from Trent, and before that was a college coach in his native North Dakota. He says he wants to help build consistency for his players and develop what he calls a football family.
"I think that the structure, consistency, discipline, a lot of kids are looking for that now a days, especially with they way everything is with a lot of home lives," he said. "But i think when kids get that you develop what we call a football family you develop that unit that is bigger than itself but still you're apart of something."
He knows that Bryson and Newcastle are the district favorites, but the Panthers hope they can come in this year, compete, and steal a playoff spot.
"[The Bobcats] have been district champs, I believe it's eight years in a row, so a very solid program there," Schlieve said. "Bryson is probably the team to beat this year, so the two of them are the early favorites and we hope to jump in and be able to compete."
The number one thing that coach Schlieve wants to focus on this season is really developing the kids: "I think all of the kids working hard and working together, the kids developing throughout the season, and that each time we walk off the field we know we gave our best. I know everyone wants to hear more about wins and losses, but I think if you focus on the process of how you get there it ends up being a lot better, for not only the team but for all of the individuals.''
The Panthers open their season Friday, September 1st at 7:30 p.m. on the road at Tioga.
Wednesday, we'll wrap up our 6-man previews with Forestburg and Newcastle.
Saint Jo Panthers 2017 Schedule
Sept. 1 at Tioga, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 vs McKinney Cornerstone, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 vs Chillicothe, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Northside, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Savoy, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 vs Throckmorton, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 BYE
Oct. 20 at Forestburg, 7:30 p.m.*
Oct. 27 vs Bryson, 7:30 p.m.*
Nov. 3 at Gold-Burg, 7:30 p.m.*
Nov. 10 vs Newcastle, 7:30 p.m.*