While I was working what felt like forever on my Ellis County football preview two weeks ago, I sat down with Midlothianís head football caoch, Lee Wigginton.
One of the things he said that really stuck with me about his team was that they were tired of being a little brother to the Indians and he wanted this series to become more of a real rivalry.
Midlothian is the bigger school, the two teams have a comparable stadium and both cities have an Omaís Jiffy Burger. They are more similar than either would like to admit.
That really stuck with me because I know just how important a rivalry can be.
When I was in high school, the Indians were getting owned by the Ennis Lions (mostly Graham Harrell). To this day, I canít root for the guy and I was so happy he got his comeuppance when TCU beat Texas Tech with him as the starting quarterback 12-3 in 2006.†
So this year, the Panthers are on a mission to shake that label when it comes to the Indians and the rest of the teams on their loaded schedule.
They officially put Ellis County, DFW and Waxahachie on notice that this Panther team is not to be taken lightly this season.
Iíll admit, I didnít really believe it two weeks ago when I met a lot of the Panther players for the first time.
They all talked about the work they put in. About how much film they watched. About how they arenít afraid of anybody.
Every team says this stuff before a season because thatís when everybody is tied for first place.
But the Panthers came out Friday night and proved just how much they wanted that game and just how the effort they put in paid off.
One game is a ridiculously small sample size because anything can happen in one game, but if that pumped up Panther patrol comes out week in and week out in 7-5A, they may just be on to something.
I donít think this team can run the table. Iím going to be realistic. But if they can knock off just one of the giants (Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Mansfield and Duncanville) then just take care of their business against everybody else. This season could end with a playoff game.
For Waxahachie, I think this game will serve as a wake up call. The Indians may have overlooked the Panters, but that wonít happen again because 42-7 means itís a rivalry again.
Billy is the sports editor for the Waxahachie Daily Light. Like him on Facebook at Billy Wessels - Waxahachie Daily Light Sports. Follow him on twitter @BillyWesselsWNI. You can reach him at the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-517-1454.