Lanett Eyeing Consecutive State Title in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
PANTHERS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS (2019-1A, 2017-2A)
The Lanett Panthers are hungry to defend their AHSAA state championship. After winning their second state title in three years, the Panthers are moving back up to Class 2A.
“We can’t get too comfortable because we had worked so hard to get both of those championships,” said senior tight end and outside linebacker Travaunta Abner. “I feel like we go into the season working hard then we can have a chance to go back and get a third one.”
The main obstacle in their path is COVID-19.
“These masks. I respect anyone in the medical field who does a surgery or an operation with a mask on,” said Lanett Defensive Coordinator Charlie Williams. “I respect you so much. It’s tough.”
The Panthers already sat out a week this summer due to the virus. Their hard work at home, experienced coaching staff and senior leadership has helped them persevere.
“Different types of coaching, and we learn from a lot of coaches and they learn you,” said senior wide receiver, linebacker and safety Seidrion Langston. “Chemistry with the football team, you get chemistry with the coaches, so they know us and we know them.”
Their former quarterback Kristian Story will play at Alabama this fall, so the QB battle will future two juniors, Caden Story and MJ Atkinson.
“Everything we do, we do together. Running routes,” said senior wide receiver and cornerback Lariontavious Hurston. “Our quarterback knows our route tree. It’s going to be a good season.”
The Panthers are practicing like it’s a normal summer, and fans are looking forward to packing the stands. In reality, nothing is set in stone this year.
“I played here, so I’ve seen it at its height because we were 4A when I played here,” said Williams. “I’ve seen the program at its height. The anticipation and the excitement, it hasn’t been this way in a long time.”
Lanett kicks off the season on the road against Georgianna on Friday, August 21 at 8 p.m.