Football ready for Class 6A title game Staff

The Panthers are playing Blue Valley Northwest at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Class 6A championship football game and are looking for their fourth straight title.

Panthers football players share their thoughts heading into the game, which is at Emporia State.

  • “ I feel like excited is the word for us. We’ve gotten so obsessed with the feeling of getting to state and now that it’s here for the seventh time in a row; it’s still the most amazing feeling in the season. We are looking to bring it home for the fourth year in a row, though. We are not done,” junior Caleb Brown said.


  • “I feel like there is always a little bit of pressure going into this game, just like every other game to play — good for the school and the community. However, we cannot let the moment get too big for us because that’s when we start playing timid. As long as we treat this like any other game and have a great week of preparation, I’m definitely liking our chances on Saturday,” junior Brock Zerger said.


  • “I am very happy we made it this far, but as a team, we set winning state as our goal at the beginning of the year so we all expected to reach that goal. Hopefully, we have gained back some of that support we lacked preseason,” junior Samuel Same said.


  • “Every game day we usually all make a TikTok and we get a pregame speech from coach (Mitch) Pontious,” sophomore Derek Hubbard said. 


  • “I feel pretty confident, we have really built up a great foundation for a family as a team and we just have great players all around, we should go in there and whip some butt as state and that we’ll come out on top,” junior DJ Spring said.


  • “It’s really sad coming in as a senior, state week is always the best week and the game just has so much energy and it’s so much fun and just knowing it’s the last one I’m ever gonna have is kinda depressing,” senior Scott Simmons said.


  • “ Something I do before a game is drink a Pedialyte and eat Subway. It felt great to win last Friday because we went out with a bang on our last game at panther stadium. I’m feeling good going to state. We should be good if we play Derby football. I’m not worried about a lot. I have faith in our boys and the drive that we have had all year. It’s weird that it is my last game because I’ve been doing this for so long and it’s been a way of life for me,” senior Jonas Vickers said.


  • “I feel that last Friday we really came together as a team. Every aspect if the game fell into place. Just playing free and a chip on our shoulder. Felt good to pull out a commanding win for my last ever game in Panther Stadium. It feels amazing to get back to state. I feel it gives me a chance to sign off my senior season and leave a legacy of being perfect. I do feel a little bit of pressure because Derby is held to such a high standard, but it starts to fade when I see the brotherhood and confidence of my team and town. With this being my last game I just want to be as close to perfect as possible. I want to leave the game of high school football with no regrets and leaving all of myself in the field,” senior Alex Key said.