By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Write it in stone: The Midlothian Panthers will be in the postseason.
Do not sleep on the Midlothian Panthers. Opposing teams probably shouldn’t plan on scoring much on their defense, either.
Led by a scrappy and disciplined defensive unit, the Midlothian Panthers enter the 2019 season on the heels of a history-making campaign and with 12 returning starters.
The Panthers finished this past season under head coach Doug Wendel with a 9-2 overall record, which marked the most victories for the program since at least 1991. They then picked up a playoff victory against neighboring Red Oak, which became the first playoff win for the Midlothian football program since a 19-13 win against Chapel Hill in 1998.
Linebacker JT Cavendar will once again lead the Panthers defense toward the postseason, as he is one of seven returning starters on that side of the football.
Cavendar recorded 93 total tackles and 13 tackles for loss in 2018. He will become a four-year starter once the ball is kicked off Friday.
Other defensive players to keep an eye out for include Riley Angel (DB), Kaleb Tompkins (DE), Ethan Lemley (LB) and Avery Gipson (DB).
Midlothian also returns five starters on offense, which will be led by quarterback Tate Corbin (860 total yards, 14 TDs), running back Issac Houston (323 yards, 6 TDs) and standout athlete Nathan Humphreys (157 yards, 2 TDs). Marshall Hodges, who qualified for the state wrestling championships last school year, will anchor the offensive line.
The Panthers checked in at No. 23 in the DCTF 5A Division II preseason rankings, which landed just behind No. 16 Ennis and No. 17 Red Oak.
The class is led by No. 1 Aledo, No. 2 Fort Bend Marshall and No. 3 Corpus Christi Calallen.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football predicts District 5-5A Division II to finish:
- Burleson Centennial
- Waco University
- Arlington Seguin
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith