LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Entering the 2014 football season, the Lufkin Panthers were nowhere to be seen in the AP Poll Top 10 ranking. In fact, they entered the new year ranked 14th.
Now they are considered as one of the best in the state for Class 5A, as they claimed the No. 2 ranking this week.
"It makes us feel good, but we can't let that get to our heads," said senior running back Steven Sowell. "We got to keep moving forward, get to that number one spot, and keep moving on from there."
Although rankings may be nice to look at, the Panthers realize a ranking is not going to help you win a football game come Friday night.
"We don't talk about it much here. We're trying to work and do what we do each week," said Lufkin head coach Todd Quick. "It really doesn't matter right now. It matters Week 15 and 16 where you're at. It's a start, but we're concerned with what we need to do and the work we need to put in."
While some may browse through the rankings, this week's ranking surely will catch your eye because of who is ranked above the Panthers.
Sitting comfortably at the No. 1 spot is John Tyler, and the Panthers will have the task of fighting against the Lions for a district title and ultimately a spot in the playoffs.
"We are not nervous to play any team," said senior nose guard Tyrique Spencer. "When the time comes to beat them, to play them, we're going to get the 'W.'"
No matter what the rankings suggest, the Panthers can feel good about how they've started their season compared to last year.
Last year they won their first game, but then went through a 5 game losing streak.
"What happened last year in unacceptable and they've taken it upon themselves, put it on their shoulders and said, 'We're not doing that again,'" said Quick.
History doesn't look like it will be repeating itself as the Panthers are now 2-0, and ready to tackle the new season.
Lufkin is looking to carry their momentum into Saturday's game against John Curtis. Game is set for 2 p.m. at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana.