AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - The Americus-Sumter Panthers took to the field this week for their chance at reclaiming a region title.
But with a new coach under the main headset, he’s focusing on the team chemistry, outside the X’s and O’s.
A new year brings new players every year for every team.
But 2019 brought something different for Americus-Sumter, a new head coach.
Just a few months into their preseason workouts, coach Couch and the Panthers are searching for a new standard at Americus-Sumter.
“They’ve responded very well," said Head football coach Couch. "We’ve got good numbers, meeting our expectations. They’re working hard and they’re trying to better themselves every day. They’re trying to push each other, hold each other to a standard.”
After a 3-7 season, the Panthers were itching for a chance to get back on the field and work.
Hoping they can find the team unity, that alluded them last season.
“Learn to work together, and we’ll do good," said senior defensive back Trevian Thomas. "That was out biggest problem last year. The team had its own sections, and everybody was apart.”
Two years ago, the panthers had their best season in recent history.
Tearing through the region, and finding the region title.
Coach couch believes he’s got the players to do it again.
But coach Couch knows it starts with him and his staff.
Since the Panthers haven't had a coach for longer than 4 years.
“I think we’ve got to have consistency,"said Couch. "I think that’s a big deal. When you look back through the program, when they’ve had consistency from the middle school from the high school. Consistency from the coaching staffs. Players who have been in the same positions for years. I think that’s something we’ve got to establish here.”
For the Panthers, they’re working on their X’s and O’s.
But Amercius-Sumter knows, it’s their team comradery, that’ll carry them them to the season they know they can have.
“Unity is very important," said senior offensive lineman Eric Aldridge. "If everybody works together, you get more done. Everybody on the same page. You can win games like that. Everybody on the same page.”