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30 in 15 Fort Stockton Panthers 2013 Football Season Preview

Last years campaign just wasn't in the cards for Fort Stockton, but this year -- the Panthers have a new group of leaders and mindset for the 2013 season.

After a 2 and 8 season, most coaches would have its players try and erase their memory... but not Coach Taylor.

"You don't want to completely forget," Taylor said. "You want to remember the feeling you had last year."

Helping the team with the 180 degree turnaround is a new crop of underclassmen, who are putting the team before themselves.

"We have a better connection with the senior class this year," said junior offensive and defensive lineman Josias "Boy" Duarte.

"Last year we had a lot of individuals on the team," recalled senior wide receiver/defensive back Tanner Bruington. "We're just trying to cut that out."

An individual who's doing just that is Josias Duarte, who's made the move from tight end to offensive lineman -- all for the sake of the team.

"He's a monster. He's just gonna be able to hold it by himself if he wanted to," exclaimed Bruington.

"Last spring we told him he was gonna move to tackle and he said, 'Whatever you need to do, Coach. I'm all about the team'," said Taylor.

"I'm a big guy. I can block pretty good," said Duarte, "and if they need me on the line, I'm down for whatever the team needs to get those W's."

Duarte will also be a part of the defense, which figures to be the Panther's biggest strength.

"Our linebackers look good, our defensive line. Our secondary has been looking pretty good too," added Bruington.

And it's way to early to know how good Fort Stockton will be this year, but one thing is for certain -- these aren't the old Panthers.

"We don't want to go through the motions. We want to be excited about what we do. We want to be excited about Panther football. We want the town to be excited about Panther football, and we want the stands packed cheering us on," said Taylor.

Reporting from Fort Stockton, Matthew Villanueva, Big Board Sports.

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