2008 Team Insiders: Liberty Panthers

Southeast Texas expert Kerry Cooper takes a look at all the teams in the Golden Triangle region along with East Houston Area. Join Kerry and the rest of the Texasprpeinsider team for the season as we give you the inside scoop on the teams in the state of TExas.

Liberty Panthers

Last year the Liberty Panthers missed the playoffs for only the 4th time in the last 18 years as they finished 4-6 and 2-3 in district. Since 1990 Liberty has only missed postseason action in 1992, 1994, 2005 and 2007. That's a tradition that new head coach Shane Deel will try to get back to in 2008 with the help of 8 total returning starters. Coach Deel is excited about his new job at Liberty and is happy about the way the offseason has went in Panther Country. The Panthers will also try and keep their undefeated streak going against newcomer to the District Huffman. With a good JV team last season things are looking up at Liberty.

Key Wins Last Year
Bridge City (28-25)
Shepherd (31-14)

Last Year's Scores
Liberty 28 Bridge City 25
Hamshire-Fannett 36 Liberty 18
Liberty 10 Stafford 7
Kirbyville 38 Liberty 20
Diboll 52 Liberty 19
Coldspring 45 Liberty 43
Cleveland 20 Liberty 14
Splendora 24 Liberty 21
Liberty 43 Tarkington 20
Liberty 31 Shepherd 14

Offense

Liberty returns just 3 offensive starters from last year's team that averaged 25 points per game. QB Bubba Zalesak returns to lead the Panther offense in 2008. The offensive line will be led by Charles Whitaker, a second team all-district selection a year ago. He will be joined on the line by Colt Hudnall and Arlando Senegal. Look for the RB spot to possibly be shared by De'Jonge Robinson and James Freeman. Zalesak and Robinson will lead the charge on Offense both who are very Athletic. Once again this season the Offensive Line looks strong for the Panthers, and with an experienced Quarterback the Panthers should be much improved. The Panthers will be young at the Reciever position but the kids have worked hard and Coach Deel expects big things from them.

Other Key Players
None Listed

Defense

The Panthers have 5 returning starters on defense from last year's unit that allowed 28 points per game. The secondary for Liberty will be a solid group in 2008. CB Andy Beene returns after collecting 4 interceptions last season. Also look for a talented defensive line led by Terrance Goodman and Michael Brents. The Defense looks to have plenty of speed this season and size to go along with it. The Panthers look strong in the Defensive Line as well as in the Secondary. Look for a banner season this year from Beene, Goodman and Brents. Defensive Back Ryan Hebert saw alot of playing time as well in 07 and will be much improved in 08. If the Panthers are going to grab a Playoff spot this season look for the Defense to be a big factor with the returning players and experience.

Other Key Players
Ryan Hebert (DB)

Liberty opens the 2008 schedule at home against Bridge City in Week 0. They will also host Hamshire-Fannett and Orangefield before closing out non-district at Kirbyville. They will open 22-3A play at home on September 26 against Splendora. Huffman and Cleveland are the favorites to win the District especially with Huffman dropping back down. Here is the complete 2008 schedule for the Liberty Panthers……


Aug. 29 Bridge City
Sept. 5 Hamshire-Fannett
Sept. 12 Orangefield
Sept. 19 @ Kirbyville
Sept. 26 Splendora*
Oct. 3 @ Cleveland*
Oct. 10 OPEN
Oct. 17 Huffman*
Oct. 24 @ Shepherd*
Oct. 31 Tarkington*
Nov. 7 @ Coldspring*

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