EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - As much as either team probably hates to admit, Lufkin and Nacogdoches share similar characteristics.
Something they both can be pleased with entering the season is their quarterback situations. Both Lufkin quarterback Trey Cumbie and Nacogdoches quarterback Hunter McClellan are experienced seniors with a mature outlook on the game.
Cumbie threw for 2,738 yards, racking in 27 touchdowns and the Panthers expect nothing less from him this year.
"We're looking for him to step up and when somebody needs something, they're going to look to him. We want him to respond to that and be able to take over," said Lufkin head coach Todd Quick. "It's his team. We'll go as he goes. We expect a lot out of our seniors and that's what we're expecting out of him."
With this being Cumbie's second year to lead the offense, he said he's more confident with that experience under his belt.
"I'm a little more comfortable this year. I know the guys a lot more, I'm a lot more comfortable with them, and I'm just ready to go with them," said Cumbie.
For McClellan, his experience started when he was just a sophomore thrown onto the field to run a varsity level offense.
"He's a great leader for us and the biggest thing is he understands everything that we do on the field," said Nacogdoches head coach Bobby Reyes. "He's smart, he executes the ball really well, he gets us out of bad plays and into good plays, and he makes good decisions."
Hunter took a big blow to his arm last year, big enough to break two bones in his left arm. As a result, he missed all of district and the remainder of the season.
However, in the 5 games McClellan played last year, he recorded 1,014 yards for 15 touchdowns.
As far as his injury is concerned, he's completely healed.
"I'll be fine. I'm just still working on it, but I'll stay in the pocket, try to do as good as I did last year, and just make plays," said McClellan. "I feel great. We're good. The offensive line is going to be good and they'll protect me. I'll hopefully be injury free this season."
Whether the kids want to admit it or not, they both plan to lead their teams with the same mentality
"I have a high expectation for myself and the team," said McClellan.
"My job is just to get the ball to those guys, let them go, and do what the coaches tell me," said Cumbie.
Lufkin and Nacogdoches are in the same district and will open district play against each other September 26th.