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Summer break is almost over for students and school will be starting back. While teachers are scrambling to get ready for the new school year and parents are rushing to buy school supplies, there’s one group of students already occupying the school each day. Football has started in Texas. With a week of practices under his belt, Coach Tommy Felty is excited about what he sees so far in his North Lamar squad.
“The kids are working hard. [They] have a good attitude,” Felty said.
North Lamar is hoping to build on last year’s performance in which they finished second in District 13-3A. The Panthers’ season ended, however, in disappointing fashion to Quinlan Ford. In order for them to make the playoffs again, Felty knows they have to improve on defense.
“We have to get better defensively. The last couple years, we’ve struggled and given up too many points,” Felty said. “We’re going to put a quicker team on the field defensively this year. And more experience with that. I think we have seven players returning that had starting time on defense which is a nice luxury.”
It’s hard to talk about defense from last year without bringing up the defensive leader from the team, T.J. Williams. Last season Williams made play after play when the team needed it defensively. When asked about his leadership and replacing a player like that Felty pointed to the seniors on the team.
“It’s the job of the seniors coming up to become leaders and take on those roles. To learn from their predecessor of what they had done before them. Usually someone will step up that has that knack about them too. [Leadership] doesn’t always have to be vocal either. You lead by example.”
UIL has expanded the playoff format this season and now four teams from each district will make the playoffs instead of just three like previous years. This format greatly improves teams odds of making the playoffs but Felty will be the first to tell you they don’t want to just make the playoffs. The number one goal is to win district.
In order for that to happen, Felty says “we have to get the skill players more touches with the ball during the games. We’ve got some kids that are dangerous with the ball, and we have to get the ball in their hands.”
Coach Felty and North Lamar will practice again this coming week before having a scrimmage with Prairiland on Friday at a time yet to be determined.
Follow North Lamar football all season long on Twitter: @eParisExtra