Hope is Still to Come

Caleb Gullahorn, Staff Writer

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The Cabot Panther Football Team has been through several ups and downs this season, but after how close they’ve been and how well they have played there is still a chance the Panthers can make the playoffs. After getting the 300 win out of the way and crushing their homecoming opponent Central 41-21, the Panthers turn their head and focus on the next three games.

“We finally got the 300 curse lifted off of our shoulders,” senior back TJ Rogers said. “Now we can focus one game at a time leading into the playoffs.” The Panthers have been battling the curse for a little over four weeks and it was lifted on Friday night. The Panthers have ran several new plays to keep the opposing defense on their heels, from running more triple options and reverses, to play action passes, and even trick plays.

“Well we’ve got the hardest part of our schedule coming up, and if we beat these last few teams consecutively, I believe we will win state,” senior Defensive Lineman Jack Dixon said. The defense has played their heart out and four year starter Dalton Crumbly doesn’t want to go out in a bad way. “We are going to grind our absolute hardest and we have to keep fighting,” Crumbly said. “We all know there is a chance, and once we get there, it’s a new season and it can be anyone’s ballgame.”

The Panthers have yet to lose the chip on their shoulder, and it looks as if their hearts will play the biggest factor down this stretch. “None of us have lost confidence in this team and we are going to be the hardest working team in the state, no one will outwork us,” senior Safety Zhane Harper said. “We can’t look back for even a second, it’s a race to the finish line and we are going to get there.” The Panthers have been led by tremendous play from the running backs, the steller play on defense, and senior quarterback Jessie Windemaker. “After coming off of three though losses that could have gone either way, I think Friday gave us the spark we needed so we can pick it up a notch,” Windemaker said. It puts Cabot in a good position to make the playoffs and compete with some of the best teams in the state.

The Panthers have been cheered on all season by their parents, alumni, and of course the CHS student section. One fan in particular has been faithful going to all the games and even offering other students rides. Cameron Tomboli, a senior who played football until his sophomore year, is a leader in the student section. “I plan on showing up to the game having the same mindset as the players, I know that they want us loud and proud supporting them,” Tomboli said. Along with other students Cameron believes Cabot will be playing in the postseason. “I expect them to just get better from here on out and us in the student section hope to get them hyped and ready by showing up and showing out, always cheer no matter what, and having everyone participate we are there so that our panthers can win,” Tomboli said.

The Panthers will have to win two out of the next three games to earn a playoff spot. That will not come easy, the next three games are at Bryant, here at Panther Stadium against the Northside Grizzlies, and then conclude their season in familiar fashion against North Little Rock. The Panthers will have to play their best and if anyone can push them to do it, it’s Coach Malham.

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