Southern Air Cenla Summer Camp: Bunkie Panthers
BUNKIE, La. (KALB) - The Bunkie Panthers are looking to turn the page this year, but this chapter is a little different than what they are used to. This would be year number seven for Head Coach Nick Pujol. He did not have his best season last year and is ready to write the book for the 2022 season.
“We are excited,” said Pujol. “Obviously, we went through summer workouts, seven on sevens and stuff like that. I think my guys are ready to leave last season in the past and play our brand of football.”
In this new chapter, the roster will look different with a quarterback change. Right now, it is a competition between Dillon Compton and Brady Wright. Junior Receiver Dexter Compton said it would be great to catch passes from a relative, but he knows the coaches will play whoever is the better fit for the team.
“One of the quarterbacks for the team is my little brother,” said Compton. “I would like to see him throw it to me, but I know he is competing for the spot, so whoever gets it, I would love to catch passes from them.”
Another thing that can be eye-opening about this team is that they added kids from other sports to fill roster spots and bring some athleticism. So far, John Eves likes what he sees.
“Well, I’m glad they wanted to come to play football, especially those basketball guys,” said Eves. “We got a lot of athletes on the basketball team. Hopefully, they can step on the football field and help us out.”
Now they will have all-hands-on deck with new guys added to the roster. The Panthers will move to Class 3A this year, and Coach Pujol is ready to play new opponents.
“The district that we are in was really tough,” said Pujol. “I’m looking forward to some fresh blood out there. The Jena Giants have been the team to beat in that district, but I think we will be prepared to compete in the district this year.”
For Eves, he enjoys moving up a class, but they still have their rivals circled on the schedule.
“I always like to beat Avoyelles and Marksville,” said Eves. “I mean those are parish rivals, beating them is always something we strive for.”
No matter the roster or the schedule or the class, Bunkie is still going to play their brand of football.
“This team is going to play with a high effort,” said Pujol. “I think that we are going to have 11 hats to the ball on defense. Offensively, we are going to look to push the tempo and try to keep teams on their heels.”
The Bunkie Panthers will face a lot of challenges this year, but they will not back down from any of them.
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