In a season-ending loss to the Longview Lobos nine months ago, a battered Kordell Rodgers was forced to the sideline with a concussion, eventually watching his Lufkin Panthers' season come to an end in 31-10 fashion.
The past two years were fun ones for Lufkin fans. Their classic rivalries within East Texas actually meant something once the Panthers got demoted from Class 6A to Class 5A.
But there were drawbacks as well...
Lufkin almost always gets ranked when writers explore high school football culture around the nation. If the town doesn't get ranked, it's a bad oversight.
Panthers fans fill the home side of their 11,000-seat Abe Martin Stadium and spill over into designated seating on the away side. Whether it's getting riled up about a bad call or bad execution, the assuredly deserving offenders get to hear it from all directions.
It's been a couple of years, but Lufkin and The Woodlands will renew acquaintances in district play later this season.
The District 12-6A bout should go a long way in determining the league champion...
Associated Press High School Football Poll
Here is The Associated Press preseason high school poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, and points based on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
Others receiving votes: 11, Richmond George Ranch 33...
Rivalries don't come much more intense and closely-contested as Longview-Lufkin. The Lobos travel to Lufkin for the season opener on Aug. 26 for the teams' fifth meeting since the beginning of 2014...
Here’s a look at Lufkin's time at its ETSN.fm Photo Days shoot.
Lufkin High School was gracious enough to host players from 10 schools in the area Thursday.
The Panthers sent nine players to be the faces of their program for their work ethic on and off the field
COLLEGE STATION -- The nice thing about Lufkin's Saturday in College Station is that you can make a case it was a better outcome than last year's run to the Division I Texas State 7-on-7 Championships' consolation title.
That's not something that immediately flew over well with the Panthers though. They got bounced by Lewisville Hebron, 35-30, after giving up the go-ahead touchdown with about a minute to play in the championship bracket's round of 32.
COLLEGE STATION -- It's not hard to fathom a Lufkin-Lancaster game being the state's Game of the Week should the two teams ever run across each other.
Friday's meeting between the two sides at the Division I Texas State 7-on-7 Championships garnered a little less attention, but it was an eye-opening experience for Panthers fans. The Pack bombed away at Lancaster's defense and cruised to a 41-26 win against one of the state's best college football factories.
East Texas will have three representatives in the Division I bracket, which consists of schools with an enrollment that correlates with the UIL’s distinction for Class 5A and above.
The top two finishers in each pool play advance to Saturday’s championship bracket, while the bottom two will enter the consolation bracket...