ABBOTT, Texas — Each of the past two seasons, the Abbott Panthers have seen undefeated regular seasons end in playoff heartbreak. This year, they will try to take the next step toward a 1A state title.
Abbott last won a state championship in 2015.
"Our expectation is to win state this year," Abbott lineman Will Kazda said. "Anything less wouldn't be a disappointment, but it's not what we want."
The six-man squad lost a pair of key pieces from their 2021 roster, which fell shy in the state semifinals against May. However, they return the important senior duo of QB Karsyn Johnson and RB Isaiah Singleton, along with a strong sophomore and junior class.
"We had really good senior leadership last year, and I think all of the seniors this year want to get back to where we were last year. I think we'll have good leadership," Johnson said.
Head Coach Terry Crawford said the team will rely on its defense, especially in the early part of the 2022 season as the offensive players adjust to some new roles. Kazda mentioned the Panthers still need to improve on their offensive timing before they kick off in their season opener.
Abbott enters 2022 ranked No. 2 in the preseason Top 25.
"Our kids are pretty grounded," Crawford said. "We tell them that's just the projection. It's just what they think you have the potential to do. Potential never won a football game. So we've got to work hard. We won't focus on it. We won't talk about it. We like it. You'll see it posted on our social media. But our kids are focused on where we're gonna be at the end of the season."
2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
8/26 at Blum 7:30
9/2 vs FW Covenant Classical 7:30
9/9 at Keene 7:30
9/16 at Bynum 7:30
9/23 vs Avalon 7:30
9/29 vs Borden County (at Strawn) 6:30
10/7 at Aquilla* 7:30
10/21 vs Coolidge* 7:30
10/28 at Penelope* 7:30
11/4 vs Gholson* 7:30
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