High school baseball teams across East Texas have returned to the practice field ready for a fresh start. No team is more eager for new year then the Lufkin Panthers.
There is reason for optimisim with the pack.
In 2006, the Lufkin baseball team lost big, lost small and found a way to lose period. "Last year, we don't like to talk about last year," says Coach Clay Berry. "These kids were embarrased by what happen last year. I was and I know the people of Lufkin were."
So, the Pack players have taken it upon themselves to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Lufkin definitely has more talent. Ralph Thomas returns after a one year absence to patrol centerfield, and Diboll transfer Jeremy Tames can finally play varsity.
"It was hard playing two years varsity and watching from the stands," says the Lufkin pitcher and catcher.
A more mature lineup is just one reason the Pack beleive it will be a good year.
They say last year... the dugout lacked cruckness! This year it's back.
"Crunkness is just coming up and hollering. You don't really know what you're saying, just picking everybody up," says Lufkin third baseman Roy Nolan.
"We don't want to play for ourselves. Bad things are going to happen in baseball. You've got to cheer for your teammates," says Thomas.
The Pack won't just back teammates. They'll always back their coach.
"Fans put too much pressure on him. We should have won more and he's a great coach."
Coach Berry has brought the football mentality. And a lot of guys are buying into it. He says if you're not excited about what's going on, you shouldn't be here.