MEDINA VALLEY, Texas – The Medina Valley Panthers are excited about the upcoming season.
"This time of the year in Texas is always big, and in Medina Valley it's not any different," head coach Chris Soza said. "They won a state championship way back in 1984 ... so we know that it can be done here."
The Panthers were eliminated in the first round of playoffs last year, but according to Soza, they have been working hard this off-season to go even further this year.
"We got a great group of kids coming back who are experienced, so we have a lot of high expectations," Soza said.
One of those experienced players coming back is quarterback Alek Child, as well as a strong offensive line and a fullback.
Child will start as quarterback this season, as opposed to last year when the team alternated between Child and Charlie Marsh.
"Last year I was doubting myself a lot and felt a lot of pressure, but this year I'm going to be more confident," Child said.
After the realignment of the districts, Medina Valley moved to District 14, where they will face teams such as Kerville Tivy, Boerne Champion and Alamo Heights.
"It's still a tough district," Soza said. "But Friday night lights in Texas you always have to come ready to play."
Sosa and Child said their team has gotten significantly stronger over the off-season.
"They make us lift weights more often, but now we're stronger, we tackle better, we block better. It all around just makes us better athletes," Child said.
As for what this season holds for Medina Valley, Child said they're going to win a lot of games and make everyone proud.
The Panthers are projected to make the playoffs, according to Dave Campbell's Texas Football.
They kick off their season in Waco against La Vega on Aug. 31.