Even in a schedule that features six home games with only four road contests, the Lufkin Panthers will still see plenty of tests in the 2017 season.
A season-opening trip to Longview highlights a schedule that also features matchups against top-notch home games against John Tyler and The Woodlands along with a road trip to face Beaumont West Brook.
With that type of schedule, Quick is confident the Panthers will be battle tested by the time the playoffs roll around.
“It’s good to have a lot of home games, but there’s no question we’re going to be tested,” Quick said. “When you play the teams we play, you have to get better throughout the season or it’s going to be a long year.”
Lufkin won’t get the chance to ease into the season as it travels to Longview for the season opener.
That early test will be followed by the home opener against a Nacogdoches team that has made big strides in the past two seasons, including a pair of recent wins over the Panthers. Last season Lufkin took a 42-28 win over the Dragons.
Following that game, Lufkin renews a rivalry against a John Tyler team that knocked it out of the playoffs with a 50-49 shootout win last season.
Non-district action closes with a home game against Monterrey Tech in the second year of a two-year deal with the Mexican school.
“That type of schedule is going to be good for us,” Quick said. “Playing Longview, Nac, John Tyler and Monterrey Tech will give us what we need out of our non-district schedule.”
The Panthers are hoping that slate will have them ready to compete in what should be a good district. Last season, Lufkin finished in third place in the district.Lufkin will open district with a road trip to College Park before returning home to face The Woodlands. That will be followed by a road trip to take on Beaumont West Brook.
Last season, Lufkin dropped a 63-42 decision to The Woodlands before losing a 70-63 shootout against West Brook. That left Lufkin with an uphill climb for the rest of the season.
“Those are big games, but every district game is a big one,” Quick said. “We just focus on the game ahead of us, but we know what will be on the line when we play someone like The Woodlands or West Brook.”
That stretch of games will be followed by home games against Oak Ridge and Montgomery that are sandwiched around a road trip to Conroe.
If Lufkin can advance to the playoffs once again, that would be followed by another tough first-round contest.
“We’re always going to have big expectations here,” Quick said. “The key is going out there and taking care of business every week and letting everything else take care of itself.”