AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Today was the first day of high school football in the state of Texas which means coaches and players didn’t sleep much last night.
“It’s easier as you get older Ralph. You don’t worry about what you’re going to say as much as I did that first year as a head coach but I still have some trouble sleeping.”, said Bushland High head coach Jimmy Thomas.
My first stop was to visit the Bushland Falcons. They went 8-4 last season with only one loss in district play and only have plans of improvement.
“You know the expectation is the same. We’re always going to lose a lot of good kids and the next year will be the same. We’re just going to reload.", said Coach Thomas. "We built a program from the ground up and we want our seniors to be good and they have been. So we just expect the next class to come up and step up.”
This year’s senior class has accepted the challenge and they’re ready to put on a show.
“They can expect us to dominate and win.”, said senior linebacker Noah Laurent.
“Our expectation is to go deep, try and make a run to Arlington, and win as many games as possible.”, said senior quarterback Jared Thomas.
Next stop took me to the north side where the Palo Duro Dons were putting their new offense to work.
“We’re super excited Steve Kinner is our new quarterback’s coach and offensive coordinator. This first week is about getting your timing down.", said Palo Duro High head coach Chris Fisher. "This is making sure the center gets the ball back to the quarterback, the quarterback has a smooth hand off with the running back, and then making his reads. We can slow it down because we’re not in pads and we can do a lot more teaching.”
The Dons offense will be led by third year starter Dondray Degrate who's ready to put the Dons back on top.
“I just want to get better every day and improve. Hopefully we’ll have a better season this year and I just want us to get better every day.", said Degrate. “It’s going to be a show. We’re ready to go and we’re ready to prove everybody wrong. We’re ready to be on top again.”
The Falcons will open their season on the road against the Childress Bobcats and Palo Duro’s first test will be the Canyon Eagles.