Should be interesting year for Panthers, Rebs
Though one program has an established head coach and is coming off a season that included a playoff appearance and the other program went winless in 2008 and has a new coach, the Jemison and Thorsby football programs find themselves in similar positions as they prepare for the upcoming season.
Neither program is starting over from scratch, necessarily, but both are in the midst of a rebirth of sorts. The changes are obvious for Thorsby. First-year coach Billy Jackson is trying to instill a sense of pride and toughness in a team that lost every game last season by 25 points or more. Some assistant coaches now have different roles and there are new assistants, but the Rebels season will come down to the players. If they want to improve and be competitive, they will.
Jemison won seven games last year, but the Panthers are undergoing much the same process because of an unbelievably high turnover from last season. No less than 30 lettermen were lost from last season—18 lost to graduation and 12 for other reasons.
Coach Brad Abbott and his staff are having to teach the Panthers how to play both ways for the first time. But, like Thorsby, if Jemison wants to be successful no matter the circumstances, they will find a way.
Whether you follow the team that is trying to rediscover past glory or the team that is trying to live up to expectations that have been created over the past several years, 2009 should provide an interesting football season in North Chilton County.