Basketball season has arrived at Doyline High School as the Panthers tipped-off their season last night in the Castor Jamboree. The Panthers have worked hard throughout the offseason and are glad to finally be able to get out on the court.
The Panthers will have a different look this season, as a few unexpected departures leave Doyline with as young a team as anyone can remember.
Panthers head coach Michael Normand is excited for the season ahead to see how his young guns will fare against a schedule that is certain to test their grit.
“I thought it would be a pretty veteran group coming back,” Normand said. “We had a couple of kids that moved out of state, one was an all-district player and three year starter, another three year starter left for another school to go play for his dad and a few other guys left who we expected to see playing time.”
Stepping up to lead the Panthers will be three key returnees: Junior, Tyreke Wilson, sophomore, Ja’Tavion Jackson and sophomore, Jalen Jackson.
“Those will be our three leaders and the guys with playing experience,” Normand said. “We’re going to be guard oriented. Those guys are all guards, but we do have a freshmen, Davion Jackson, who’s about 6’3”. In a couple years he’ll be great.”
The Panthers will be tested early and often, with some powerhouse names on the schedule. The hope for Coach Normand and Panther fans alike is that taking on some tough opponents will speed up the growth of Doyline’s young but talented roster.
“We have a very, very tough schedule,” Normand said. “We made the schedule expecting to be experienced, now it’s going to be a big challenge for us. We have to stay positive through the beginning of the season.”
The Panthers schedule features early season games with Zwolle, Simsboro, Wesson and Summerfield.
“There are going to be some frustrating games while the young guys are learning but we have to fight, stay positive and realize next year we’re going to reap the benefits. My main focus is to teach and these kids have great attitudes and work ethic. I’m excited about the years to come.”
The Panthers will play their first regular season contest at Zwolle on Monday, November 3.