Despite Tragedy, Panther Pride is in Full Swing - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

12/03/04 - Lufkin

Despite Tragedy, Panther Pride is in Full Swing

by Ramonica R. Jones

The Lufkin Panthers are deep into the football playoffs, but at the beginning of the school year, Lufkin High was the talk of the town for a different reason. Police arrested a student, charging him with murdering his unborn sons. Soon after, one of the school's assistant principals went to jail, accused of child pornography.

Principal Roy Knight says, "It helps remind you that there's always joy beyond sorrow, that there's always a silver lining after discouragement. We think good things always follow those tough times. The old saying 'tough times never last, tough people do' is one we've really had to abide by here in the past year."

Lufkin football players say the school is in a better place now, but they won't forget how the year started off.

"This kinda brings the town closer together and [helps us] just pull for one another," Elijah Booker says.

"We gotta maintain and not worry about stuff like that," Alphonso Stubblefield says. "That's in the past. We're trying to make history by going undefeated and winning state."

Students know it took a lot to get this far. The team's success is also having a big impact off the field.

"I thought maybe we weren't gonna be in that great of a mood and have this much spirit this year," L.H.S. junior Megan Spivey says. "Now, everything's pretty much turned around and people are looking forward to it."

Principal Knight has a motto that appears to be right on target. "It's a good time to be a Lufkin Panther."

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