Palestine may have missed the playoffs in 2016, but this year's plans are to bring the doom to the "District of Doom."
Returning the majority of their upper-class talent they have also discovered some fresh faces. Case in point, sophomore running back Jeremiah Davis.
Head Coach Robby Clark believes that his third season with these athletes will be the year all the hard work comes together; reminding opponents that last season's 2-5 district record could have easily looked very different.
"The biggest thing that people overlook about last year is we are about 5 plays away from being 7-3. We has a real tight ballgame at Kilgore, lost by three out here to Center. That left our kids hungry, thirsty, excited. They attacked the off-season and we have a lot of experience and back. We are excited to get it started," said Robby Clark, Palestine head football coach.
"It's just all about building relationships honestly. We are on the same page with everything we do, so we can have an unbreakable bound. On the field, it will just carry over," said Tyler Gray, Palestine quarterback.
"The hype from everybody is, wow. We got sophomores that are on the varsity now. We got juniors and seniors, we got leaders. I think we are going to have something nice this year," said Joshua Williams, Palestine receiver.
Moving on to the Pirates who have continued to grow under their own third-year head coach, Brad Baca.
Pittsburg is a smaller team that competes in the same district as heavy weights Gilmer and Gladewater. But what the Pirates have on their side is similar to Palestine. They are returning most of their core talent, including quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson who recorded 19 touchdowns last season.
If the pirates can stick it out for four quarters, they have the opportunity to make a statement and add some more respect to their name.
"I'm really excited about this year's team. We have gelled really well during two-a-days. The sky is the limit for this group, they can do whatever they want to do and be as good as they want to be," said Brad Baca, Pittsburg head football coach.
"We're not satisfied with two, we want to win district. Our guys are just working everyday. Coach is on to us, we don't run a play right, we already know the sideline. But we are in shape for it and ready for the season to see what it has in store for us," said Jaylon Jimmerson, Pittsburg quarterback.
"I'm very hungry, I like to compete. I really believe we can match up with anybody we set our minds to match up against. It's up to us upper-clansmen to get the job done and let the lower-clansmen know it's time to go when it's time to go," said Keontae Burns, Pittsburg receiver.
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