LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After losing to 63-42, many of the Lufkin Panther seniors were left with an empty feeling.
"It hurt a lot, senior Tre' Grant said. "We put all of our work into it. We were looking forward to beating them."
After the loss, the team only wants one thing.
"Redemption," senior Hunter Hollis said. "I feel like we need to come out and show them what we are and what we can be."
The Pack come into a game that will go a long way in deciding a district champion with a 4-1 record. They have a signature win over at the time state ranked John Tyler. They also opened district play with a 21-3 victory last week over College Park. Due to games being canceled by Hurricane Harvey, the Highlanders are 1-1 and bring in a high powered offense that has them ranked ninth in the state. The team lost a nail bitter to Katy and then rebounded to beat George Ranch. The team was off last week. This will be the 12th match up with the Highlanders. Lufkin leads the series 6-5. The Pack's last win in the series came at home in 2011.
"You are in district and everything counts now," Head Coach Todd Quick said. "You have to be able to play and you have to be able to play 4 quarters. you have to be able to finish the dries and finish the quarters. it is just a matter of getting out there and getting it done."
The team feels they still have more to prove and that many are underestimating them.
"We are playing with a chip on our shoulder," Hollis said. "Especially after last week because we didn't do what we wanted to do."
The team is also walking into the match up with confidence and a winning attitude.
"I think everyone is judging us on what we lost last year," Grant said. "We are going to put on for Lufkin and give Lufkin a better name."