CHULA, Ga. (WALB) - The Tiftarea Panthers found the semi-finals in 2018 and 2019.
For the 2020 season, they’re looking to take it one step further.
With Head Coach Erik Soliday under the main headset for the Tiftarea Panthers making the playoffs is almost a guarantee.
For 2020, they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
“One step farther every year. You know, every time we come out here we have to find someplace, some way to get a little bit better at something. You know, we tell them every day to find something to get better at today,” said Soliday.
The Panthers are lacking depth this year... but senior offensive lineman, Ben Matt, told me they more than make up for it in their experience.
“Like last year a lot of people didn’t think we’d make it there. And I think some people are going to surprise some people and show out that people probably don’t think to expect it,” said Matt.
It's acclimation period for the Panthers.
Soliday said that’s something to be excited about.
“It was just nice to get back and get started and be a part of something, again,” said Soliday.
Last season, the Panthers had one of it's best offensive and defensive performances since 2009.
Junior quarterback, Dylan Harbort, said health is key this year.
“Just gotta stay healthy. We had a lot of people hurt last year whenever we got knocked out. But, I think we’ll go far this year,” said Harbort.
The start of the season is within grasp, which any other year would be great news.
But this year, it’s creating a little anxiety.
“I’m ready to just get to practice because I don’t know if we’re going to end the season early or if we’re going to even get to play at all, “ said Matt.
The Panthers are locked in, looking to reclaim the state title for the first time since 1992.
“I know we’ve all got reservations, but you know we’re looking forward to hopefully getting the season going. Our kids are really getting into that game mode now. So spirits are picking up a little bit,” said Soliday.