BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- Burton put together yet another fantastic season on the backs of DeMonderick Winters and Caleb Harmel.
The duo led the Panthers to a third straight district title and a trip to the quarterfinals, where they dropped a heartbreaker to Falls City by two points.
Burton dropped two of three early to powerful Lexingon and Shiner, but won nine straight by an average of 44.5 points per game before falling to Falls City. Head coach Jason Hodde said, “Our offense was the best part of our game in 2018. We had challenges overcoming depth on defense.
The Panthers will have a lot of production and leadership to replace with the loss of Winters, Harmel and Cameron Riggins, but they feel like they have a chance to be a very good football team once again this season.
Hodde says, “We want to compete for a district championship, regional championship and state championship. Our expectations remain the same, but we know we have some work to do!” Burton welcomes back seven players who started on both offense and defense a year ago.
Cash Callahan slides over from wide receiver to quarterback and will be the beneficiary of having four big men coming back up front on the line in seniors Caleb Fuchs and Cade Weiss and sophomores Weston and Waylon Hinze. Hodde says, “Cash is coming off a good season despite sharing the ball with Harmel and Winters.
He has size and speed and will be one of the best athletes in our district. The four returning linemen not only offer experience at a high level but they bring size and athleticism to both our offensive and defensive lines.
Demarcus Wilson will add size and power to our running game. He is heading into his third year as a starter.” When those seven players switch sides to defense the Panthers will have five returning starters on the line, one at linebacker in district newcomer of the year Cooper Lucherk, and Callahan in the secondary.
Hodde says Wilson and Callahan will add experience and talent to the Panther defense. As talented as Burton is, they’ll have to play at a high level every week as they take on a brutal schedule. “Our schedule is extremely tough with pre-district offering us challenges each week. Our district will be very competitive as well,” says Hodde.
The Panthers have a bit of an odd schedule as they open with three straight home games before playing their next four on the road. Like last season, the Snook game in the regular season finale should have a big say in who brings home the District 14-2A Division II title.