Parish Episcopal School reached the summit of Texas private school football last season by winning its first state championship in the highest Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) classification. That accomplishment, however, has only made the Panthers more determined.
“It’s harder to stay on top of the mountain than it is to climb there,” said Parish head coach Daniel Novakov. “It takes a really special group to do it twice. That’s the new challenge.”
An encore performance seems within reach thanks to returning dual-threat quarterback Preston Stone, who passed for more than 3,200 yards last season with 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Stone, who has verbally committed to SMU, also ran for 11 scores.
“It’s harder to stay on top of the mountain than it is to climb there.”Daniel Novakov
“You’ll see a more relaxed version of him,” Novakov said. “Hopefully, he can relax and enjoy his senior year and take it to a higher level.”
Stone will have plenty of talent around him at the skill positions, such as the return of all-purpose back Christian Benson, who was electrifying in the title-game win over Plano John Paul II.
The receivers include sophomore Daniel Demery, a blue-chip recruit who will start on both sides of scrimmage and return kicks. Also providing a boost are transfers Blake Youngblood (Austin Vandegrift) and Andrew Paul (Keller Central).
On defense, Parish allowed fewer than 28 points in every game last season. All-state linebacker Kenneth Borders leads the returnees, along with Henry Partridge, Keegon Addison, Foster Malloy, and Omari Hayes. The line will be bolstered by transfers Jeremiah Bodwin (Bishop Dunne) and Jayden Jones (Pantego Christian).
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