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2020 LUFKIN PANTHER FOOTBALL General Discussion


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DCTF is slowly announcing the Top 10 predictions in each classifications,  Friday, they announce the 1A Division 1 teams.  There is a possibility that we all get our DCTF Magazine before they actual make their predictions for the 5A Division I Rankings on their live blog program.

Last year 2019 , I think Lufkin was pre season  #7, in 2018 they were #1 in the DCTF Magazine.  As we all know,  the high rankings haven't helped the program get past the 2nd round in those two years.  Now, if DCTF doesn't rank Lufkin in the Top 10 in 2020,  that wouldn't be a total surprise for some, then maybe not making it out of the 2nd round would be a more plausable excuse.  It's a catch 22 either way around here .    

If things continue to improve with this corona virus and using all of these new rules we have before us, we may have some semblance of a football season.  Hard to say what that will look like.  The NCAA is already talking finishing the season by Thanksgiving, that's about normal for most. Some colleges may not play football this year.  That is an unknown right now and could also be true for some of the HS in Texas, like maybe in Harris , Dallas and Bexar Counties.  If there is a bunch of spiking of the virus going on into the summer, we may have a later start or no season at all?  Who knows?  Don't think that will happen, but you never know these days. How will playoffs be handled for football at any level.  Pro football is talking about playoff games all  at one site.  NCAA is talking about eliminating the conference games.  High School???

My point is the 2020 Panthers have some very good talent this year, maybe better overall than 2019 and that was with Odom and Bugg on D and  Polk at WR. You don't want to lose a year when you know the talent you have on board.

It's really hard to visualize a regular season right now, because it is not business as usual.  You think about player conditioning.  Will they play shorter quarters?   My hope is they don't change the game that much and just emphasize the most stringent hygiene policy.  Football is a contact sport, just how the UIL addresses this will be interesting to see.

Anyway, we know it will be different and they haven't even mentioned specifics about the bands, the cheerleaders and everything else attached to the whole experience in the game of football.  The State of Texas has mandated that open air stadiums/venues can be filled by fans at 50% by the start of the HS football season in August, that also includes college and Pro stadiums.   Does this mean I will only get 3 or 4 of my 7 season tickets this year?   Most home games the last couple of years , except for Longview last year, were just a little over 50% capacity anyway.  So that won't be a problem for Lufkin. Are they going to actually count the number of people entering the stadium? Check their temperature?  Who gets priority?  Season ticket holders only?  Everyone wear mask?  People with pre existing health conditions, asked to stay home? People sitting 6 feet apart?    Will the band sit in chairs on the field or in the stands, 6 ft apart and march 6 ft apart?  ALL OF THESE QUESTION?

My hope is the UIL sets a standard of rules ALL schools and ALL districts can follow the same and not something different for each stadium.   I think most of the schools in our district have not been hit as hard as Harris County by the virus when you look at the per capita ratio.  Montgomery County, where the  Magnolia  and New Caney schools are located have had 1064 cases.  Waller County about 65,   Walker County ( College Station) 1852 and  Liberty County (Cleveland)  102. Angelina County 243.

How well things go between June 8th and August 3rd is key.  Personally, I would get them together , so that if anyone is exposed they will all be immune by the time the season begins.  Keeping them apart just adds to the problem, because 85% of people being affected have been 70 and older.  Much lower risk for the young folks.

 

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https://www.ktre.com/2020/06/06/high-school-athletes-head-back-school-monday-voluntary-summer-workouts/

High school athletes head back to school Monday for voluntary summer workouts

Regardless of what Dr Patel spoke about.  Most of the Lufkin players have been out for the past couple of months or more,  working out on their own or in small groups training and throwing the football around, outside in the heat.   They have not been locked indoors doing nothing.  It's not the same as team work outs and being on the same page together, but it's much better than not doing any workout.  June 8th will allow teams get everyone a little more back on track together.  Still not the same, but a move in the right direction.

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This is something I really dislike about HS football in Texas. How kids transfer for obvious athletic reasons.  DeSoto needed some WR for 2020, they got two, just like that.  Same way Allen needed a QB and got two top ones to transfer to them in the off season.  How convenient.   

 

DCTF has learned that two major college football prospects have transferred to DeSoto in time for the 2020 season.

 

Sources have confirmed that Texas Tech 2021 WR commit Jerand Bradley (6'5, 190) has transferred from Plano John Paul II to DeSoto. 

Bradley, was a huge playmaker for the Cardinal last year, helping lead the school to the state title game. In 2019, Bradley collected 88 receptions for 1,401 yards and 19 touchdowns. 

Bradley will be looking to replace the void left by Kansas signee WR Lawrence Arnold. 

Additionally, the DeSoto unit features Arkansas 2021 WR commit Jaedon Wilson (6'2, 170). 

Sources also confirmed with DCTF that 2023 CB Jaden Milliner-Jones (5'9, 170) has transferred to DeSoto from Mesquite Horn. 

Milliner-Jones is one of the top-rated defensive prospects in his class, earning the distinction of being listed as one of the Top 25 prospects in DCTF's Rising Magazine.  

Milliner-Jones has early offers from Illinois State and SMU. 

Note: The eligibility will depend on the Previous Athletic Participation Form (PAPF) and if the previous school checks the "transferred for athletic purposes" box. If that box is checked and the prior school believes an athlete moved for athletic purposes then eligibility will be reviewed by the District Executive Committee and a ruling will be made. If a ruling is made that the player is ineligible, the player's family has the right to appeal to the UIL State Executive Committee. 

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My Top Ten  - 2020 Preseason picks for 5A Division I Football.   ***  Could have easily added in JT, McKinney North or New Caney in those 8, 9 and 10 spots. ***

1. Denton Ryan

2. Frisco Lone Star

3. Longview

4. Highland Park

5. Cedar Park

6. Lancaster

7. Red Oak

8. Lufkin

9. Amarillo Tascosa

10. Frisco Independence

 

Don't know if I'm right or wrong about these picks.  What I do know is 5A DI Region II is loaded with most all the power teams in 5A Div I.  There won't be a Texas High waiting for the Panthers in the 1st round of  playoffs .  If we don't win our district,  it will be HP or Longview in the 1st round.  Don't think anyone needs to overlook the good teams in our own district.  It will be a tougher road for Lufkin to win  district this year.   Will be interesting to see how the football season will look come August.

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June 8th, the first step of bring football back to Texas. Stepping slowly out of a pandemic situation.  First steps in the right direction.

https://www.ktre.com/2020/06/08/student-athletes-return-summer-workouts-under-new-covid-guidelines/

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Have you ever seen the new Carthage HS Indoor Practice Facility? Same people designed our new Lufkin  Multi-Purpose Facility and Baseball/Softball Complex.

https://www.goodwinlasiterstrong.com/carthage-isd-indoor-practice-facili

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It’s not always fun getting strong. But it’s fun being strong. Strength and conditioning typically isn’t glorious — It’s a Grind!

The work isn’t always fun, but the results can be.🏈😎 Go Pack!

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I would love to know what the football participation numbers are for Lufkin?  It is not something that is announced often. Last year, just randomly counting the freshman, JV and Varsity groups at games, the estimate was between 180  - 190 to start the year.  After the grading period, there were fewer players, especially on the freshman level.

Marshall reported 234 and Longview 300 players at work outs last week.   Longview has 6A numbers in the whole school and football program. Somehow they avoided staying in 6A with their enrollment.  It is what it is. and you play on.  JT reported 130-140.  

The new Marshall coach has evidently done a good job of getting kids at Marshall to come out for football.    

Another question, and it's really not important to winning games at all.  All these HS getting multiple jersey  and helmet options, that can get quite expensive to a program.

JT has 4 different jerseys (white, blue, black, gray) and 3 different helmets (blue, white, black).  Marshal has three separate jerseys (Red, White, Gray)  and a white and black helmet.  Longview for the most part is more traditional , like Lufkin. 

Lufkin,  just one helmet and mainly the traditional home and road jerseys. Lufkin has purple, white and black pants.   Except Lufkin has those 15 year old Gold jerseys, they bring out for some special occasion.    Winning is more important to me. Looking great in a uni doesn't help you win.

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6 hours ago, PackAttack said:

I would love to know what the football participation numbers are for Lufkin?  It is not something that is announced often. Last year, just randomly counting the freshman, JV and Varsity groups at games, the estimate was between 180  - 190 to start the year.  After the grading period, there were fewer players, especially on the freshman level.

Marshall reported 234 and Longview 300 players at work outs last week.   Longview has 6A numbers in the whole school and football program. Somehow they avoided staying in 6A with their enrollment.  It is what it is. and you play on.  JT reported 130-140.  

The new Marshall coach has evidently done a good job of getting kids at Marshall to come out for football.    

Another question, and it's really not important to winning games at all.  All these HS getting multiple jersey  and helmet options, that can get quite expensive to a program.

JT has 4 different jerseys (white, blue, black, gray) and 3 different helmets (blue, white, black).  Marshal has three separate jerseys (Red, White, Gray)  and a white and black helmet.  Longview for the most part is more traditional , like Lufkin. 

Lufkin,  just one helmet and mainly the traditional home and road jerseys. Lufkin has purple, white and black pants.   Except Lufkin has those 15 year old Gold jerseys, they bring out for some special occasion.    Winning is more important to me. Looking great in a uni doesn't help you win.

I think some of that is a marketing ploy for the schools who compete for talent. I know it's something that is used at the college level for schools like Oregon, TCU and Baylor. It helps to get noticed and get kids excited about playing for you. Traditional powers/bluebloods like Alabama, LSU and Texas usually don't result to gimmicks to build interest. Of course it all comes down to winning. The successful programs have no problems getting recruits. 

I'm sure the success of Longview has helped those numbers. People love being associated with winners. Thats one the reasons you see athletes transferring to schools like Allen, Desoto, and Duncanville. It could just be me, but for some reason it seems more prevalent in the DFW area. Small towns like Lufkin  depend on getting the kids here to participate. Unfortunately we have  had a whole generation of kids come through, and not really see much success from the program. They also hear it out in the community. I know a few athletes who parents decided to send them elsewhere. Win a title  or make a few playoff runs and those participation numbers will go up. 

I remember someone posted the participation numbers for 5A schools a few years ago. I think Lufkin was the 2nd or 3rd largest school in the classification at the time. But we had a much lower number of people in the program compared to some of the smaller 5A schools. Ennis who was in our district at the time, had about 50 to 75 more people in football than Lufkin. This coming from a school that had a few hundred less students. 

 

Honestly we haven't had much success at the lower classification. Not saying it would be any better in 6A..just feel it doesn't really matter. The same problems will hinder us. We won more playoff games our last year in 6A(3) than we have in four years in 5(A)1..thats it. Just 1 game in 4 years. And we only won district 2 out of 4 years. Ennis and John Tyler won the first two years in 5A. Enough of my rant. Just go out and win LP.

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Dave Campbell's 2020 Texas Football Rankings for 5A Division I  

1. Denton Ryan

2. Frisco Lone Star

3. Longview

4. Highland Park

5. Lancaster

6. Manvel

7. Richmond Foster

8. Cedar Park

9. Red Oak

10. Amarillo Tascosa

11. Lufkin

12. Frisco Independence

13. Colleyville Heritage

14. Abilene Cooper

15. CC Veterans Memorial

16. College Station

17. CC Flour Bluff

18. FB Hightower

19. Weslaco East

20. Friendswood

21. Dripping Springs

22. Azle

23. Mansfield Summit

24. Amarillo

25. Lubbock Coronado

That makes Lufkin ranked #6 in our own 5ADI - Region II.  That in itself is a daunting task, the first two rounds, your playing some of the best teams in the State.

 

These were my picks last week, they were close. 😃

My Top Ten  - 2020 Preseason picks for 5A Division I Football.   

1. Denton Ryan

2. Frisco Lone Star

3. Longview

4. Highland Park

5. Cedar Park

6. Lancaster

7. Red Oak

8. Lufkin

9. Amarillo Tascosa

10. Frisco Independence

 

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DCTF's STAFF PICKS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP IN 5A DIVISION I

Region I: Red Oak over Amarillo Tascosa

Region II:  Denton Ryan over Frisco Lone Star

Region III: Manvel over Richmond Foster

Region IV: CC Veterans Memorial over CC Flour Bluff

 

STATE CHAMP:  DENTON RYAN over MANVEL

Dark Horses:

Angelton, El Paso Burges, Fort Bend Willowridge and John Tyler

TOP DISTRICTS TO WATCH:

4-5A DI  - 15-5A DI

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Lufkin @ # 11 is probably fitting base primarily on under achieving in rankings Dave Campbell Texas Football has given to them the past two years,  #1 and #7 respectively each of the past two seasons.

Top teams picked in 5A Division I based on programs past playoff success, last years record, returning starters and coaching success at each school.

In District 8-5A Division I  these are the DCTF 2020 picks. 

1. Lufkin

2. College Station

3. Magnolia

4. New Caney

5. Magnolia West

6. New Caney Porter

7. Waller

8. Conroe Caney Creek

9. Cleveland

 

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https://www.texasfootball.com/article/2020/05/28/2020-class-5a-division-i-region-ii-outlook-predictions-for-every-district-playoff-matchup-sleepers-and-regional-winner?ref=home_feature_article

**** Sign Up and be a full time subscriber with DCTF for more HS News - HERE.  https://www.texasfootball.com/static-page/?url=subscribe

DCTF's TXHSFB Insider Matt Stepp breaks down all the districts in 5A-Division I Region II, predicts the projected playoff brackets AND picks a regional winner!

 

Region II starts out with a bang with perennial power Denton Ryan moving over from Region I to join Frisco ISD which features last year’s Region II champion Frisco Lone Star along with a really dangerous Frisco Independence squad. This may finally be Ryan’s year to bring a state title home, look for Independence with their returning talent to edge past Lone Star for the second spot. The battle for fourth place is going to be very interesting as any of the remaining six teams can make a claim.

6-5A Division I has a lot of intrigue, not much at the top as Lancaster is a massive favorite in this district. After the Tigers you’ve got eight teams who haven’t had much recent success all competing for three playoff spots that appear to be pretty wide open. Woodrow Wilson, Dallas White (dropping down from 6A) and Carrollton Smith get the early nod, but its anyone’s race after that.

The headliners in 7-5A Division I are at the top with 6A dropdown Longview and perennial power Highland Park leading the way, Longview gets the edge in this showdown because the game this year is being played at Lobo Stadium. McKinney North, a district champion a year ago lost a lot but the Bulldogs should hold off what we think will be a much-improved John Tyler squad. If you are looking for a sleeper, don’t count out a very scrappy Sherman bunch.

8-5A Division I takes us out of the DFW area down into the northern reaches of the Houston area, where Lufkin looks to once again be the dominant team in this loop. College Station and district newcomer New Caney (who won 9-5A Division I a year ago) will put up strong fights and expect to be in playoff contention. Expect a three-way battle for fourth place with Magnolia West, Magnolia and New Caney Porter all capable contenders of that coveted final playoff slot.

 

District Predictions

District 5-5A Division I

  1. Denton Ryan
  2. Frisco Independence
  3. Frisco Lone Star
  4. Frisco Reedy
  5. The Colony
  6. Frisco Wakeland
  7. Denton
  8. Frisco Heritage
  9. Frisco Centennial

 

District 6-5A Division I

  1. Lancaster
  2. Dallas Wilson
  3. Dallas White
  4. Carrollton Smith
  5. Dallas Adams
  6. Dallas Molina
  7. Dallas Samuell
  8. Carrollton Turner
  9. Dallas Sunset

 

District 7-5A Division I

  1. Longview
  2. Highland Park
  3. McKinney North
  4. Tyler John Tyler
  5. Sherman
  6. West Mesquite
  7. Wylie East

 

District 8-5A Division I

  1. Lufkin
  2. College Station
  3. New Caney
  4. Magnolia West
  5. Magnolia
  6. New Caney Porter
  7. Waller
  8. Conroe Caney Creek
  9. Cleveland

 

Predicted Playoff Matchups

W5 Denton Ryan vs F6 Carrollton Smith

R8 College Station vs T7 McKinney North

W6 Lancaster vs F5 Frisco Reedy

R7 Highland Park vs T8 New Caney

W7 Longview vs F8 Magnolia West

R6 Dallas Wilson vs T5 Frisco Lone Star

W8 Lufkin vs F7 Tyler John Tyler

R5 Frisco Independence vs T6 Dallas White

 

Playoff Sleeper

Lufkin: The Panthers will be overshadowed in this region with the likes of Denton Ryan, Longview and Highland Park grabbing headlines and that may be just the way Todd Quick’s squad likes it. When Lufkin has high expectations they tend to under-achieve, but when they are over-looked they often exceed projections.  

 

Regional Winner

Denton Ryan over Longview: The Raiders earn their fifth straight regional title and this one will be earned in a brutally tough Region and a brutally tough regional final that pits them against Longview. If these two meet it’ll be as physical a football game as you’ll see and will be a lot of fun to watch. Denton Ryan’s battle tested mentality could be what carries them to that elusive state title in December.  

Lufkin is ready to get the bad taste out of their mouth from last year, losing in overtime to Texas High in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers will start the year No.11 in the state. Defense lining up against the Pack will be challenged this year by quarterback Jordan Moore, running back Caleb Berry and wide receiver Kelton Wright.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football will once again provide the official AP rankings for Texas high school football. For more information on how to subscribe and get your copy of the annual Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine early, click here. Use the code FEEDTEXAS and DCTF will donate $5 to the food bank in your area.

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https://www.ktre.com/2020/06/16/uil-committee-set-hear-proposal-allowing-streaming-friday-night-games/

 

Sounds as if certain fans will be on the 50% list.  Maybe season ticket holders. although there are 7000 season tickets  on the home side, I think only about 5000 are sold.  On half of 11000 seats is 5500.  You count all of the essential folks.  That would be football players, coaches, announcers, band, cheerleaders, concession stand workers, other school officials, security.  That's about 500 folks.  How spread out is the band, are they even there?   Your down to 5000.  Limit visitors to 750 - 1000  tops, including band and then the other 4250- 4000 to Lufkin fans.  You could have a bunch of older Lufkin fans or those with health concerns,  who would not come anyway.  So, maybe that works out for Abe Martin.   How will the visitor section be handled?  Decisions, Decisions all around.  It's going to be different and some folks may get left out.  What about Panther road trips?

UIL committee set to hear proposal on allowing streaming of Friday night games

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