Football begins playoff season

Jessica Parrott, Staff Reporter

The dream is still alive. Every football team in Texas begins the year with thoughts of gridiron glory. For more than half of those teams, the dream is dead. Not so for the Leopards.

Starting the 2011 season losing its first two games, the team was subject to much criticism.

“At the beginning of the season, I thought making playoffs would definitely be a reach,” senior Austin Eisenhart said.

The games were not the only things the Leopards lost. Against Argyle the team suffered an even greater loss as senior captain Trey Carson left the game with a shoulder injury that would keep him out for the majority of the season.

“Losing anyone is a big challenge for a team, but when we lost Trey it put a big responsibility on the rest of the team to step up,” senior Gage Downing said.

The season took a turn for the better when the team beat the Frisco Raccoons and Abilene Wylie.

With two wins under their belt, the Leopards cruised to an easy one against the Home School Angels on September 30th.

The Leopards next game began district play as the team traveled to Prosper to face its district rival.

Going into the game against Prosper, the Leopards added a player to their varsity squad, Daniel Sefcik was moved up, becoming the only sophomore on the team.

The game brought back haunting memories of the Leopards first game when they lost 55-21 as Prosper’s quarterback Javelle Adams repetitively ran through the defense. With the loss, the team once again faced much criticism.

The next game, Leopard Friday, was against the Farmersville Farmers. The team won 21-14 but ended up losing two more important team members, junior quarterback Zack Saffle and senior wide receiver and defensive back Jay Fankhauser.

“Our commitment to each other as teammates and our ability to come together when something negative happens has been how we’ve gotten through the obstacles we’ve faced,” senior Zander Hamilton said.

Next up was the game against Frisco Lone Star. Prior to the game, two additional sophomores Chochy Luce and Grant Jarvis were moved up to varsity to help fill the spots of injured players.

From junior varsity to varsity is a big change.

“Each game means so much more on varsity than it does on junior varsity,” Jarvis said. “Everyone on the team wants to win more and of course on Friday nights everyone is watching you.”

The next game was Senior Night against the Princeton Panthers. The team started out strong but the game ended with a close win (38-31) for the Leopards.

The last district game of the season as played in Nevada against Community winning 43-15.

The Leopards will start their journey to state with their first playoff game against Dallas Madison tonight at the Couch Stadium in Addison. The beginning of the end of the season brings about many feelings, anticipation and excitement for the journey and nobody on the team wants the season to end.

“So many memories have been made with this team on and off the field,” Hamilton said. “It all comes back to joking with all the guys in the locker room. We have so many traditions that take place in the locker room before and after games that are meaningful to everyone on the team. I will miss those good times the most.”