The high school football season is only a few days away after months it seemed uncertain if we would arrive at this point.
Area teams completed their first and only scrimmage Thursday and are now 100 percent focused on the start of their 2020 campaign.
In the final edition of the 2020 schedule preview series, we take a peek at the Westwood Panthers – who are looking to be more competitive coming off of a 2-8 campaign in 2019.
The Panthers kick off their season at home against Carlisle Friday. The Carlisle Indians went 8-4 in their 2019 run after losing to Harleton, 39-27, in the area round of the playoffs.
Westwood lost a close 28-20 match on the road against Alto in their 2019 season opener and will be looking for a more favorable outcome next week.
In week two Westwood travels to Buffalo. The Bison were 8-3 in 2019, in which their playoff run was cut short in the bi-district round against Rogers. Buffalo will present a nice test for Westwood defensively as they scored over 40 points in three of their first four games last year.
They did lose to Westwood's district opponent Crockett, 44-21, during the opening week last year.
The Panthers will celebrate senior night and homecoming during their week three battle against Eustace. The Bulldogs are coming off a turbulent 2-8 season – one of those losses coming in a 34-6 loss to Westwood.
Centerville will be Westwood's final non-district opponent before they open up district play Sept. 25 against crosstown rival Elkhart. Elkhart has won their previous four matchups against the Panthers dating back to 2016. Westwood coach Richard Bishop looks to change that this year.
Westwood will enjoy a bye Oct. 2.
They return to a grueling stretch against three of the four playoff teams from last year. They host the Crockett Bulldogs Oct. 9 before traveling to Diboll Oct. 16. The Panthers suffered big losses to the predicted best two teams in the district last season.
They'll head back home Oct. 23 against Coldspring who snuck into the playoffs last year with a week 10 win over the Panthers last year.
They'll conclude their district-run against Trinity – who failed to secure a win last year – and Huntington who are newcomers to an already competitive district.