Successful tradition

Derby football is playing for its second straight Class 6A title and fifth in seven seasons.

Blake Chadwick

With the championship looming around the corner for Derby, the Panthers look to win back-to-back Class 6A championships on Saturday against Olathe North (10-2) at Emporia State. 

The Derby Panthers (12-0) are a high school football powerhouse, making it to the state championship game five straight times. They will look to win their fifth title in the last seven years.

“We are a great organization, and we definitely deserve being in the state championship game five times out of the seven years,” senior center Kevin Washington said. “We deserve to win this week.”

 But the quest for state championships doesn’t start when the players of Derby come into high school. Rather, it starts when they are first old enough to play football. 

“I love being able to be a part of a tradition like this,” freshman Samuel Same said. “I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than football.”

Derby is a football town, and it shows. The whole town comes out to watch the Panthers play every Friday, and that’s where Derby is separated from everyone else. 

The community is different, the team is different, which makes the tradition different. 

The Derby coaching staff and tradition breed players — and players win championships. 

“This is a very honoring and humbling process,” Same said. “I get to do all the work in practice and I get to be a part of something beautiful.”