Hugh Farmer would amass a 55-38 record, 3 district titles, and 7 straight playoff appearances in his 8 years spent with the 2A Seymour Panthers. On his way to town, he brought with him Dan Loyd as his defensive coordinator. Loyd played a large role in helping achieve the success of the program and was given the keys to the team to begin this season after Farmer left to coach elsewhere. All at once, a dream 14 years in the making came true for Loyd. He was the new head coach for the Seymour Panthers.
Coach Loyd, known for his exuberant personality and unfaltering drive, took over the role of head coach after a 7-5 season. A season in which the Panthers finished 2nd in the district but was unable to grab a playoff win. With a multitude of talent on this season’s roster, the expectations could not be higher for this first-time head coach. It’s not like Loyd came into a program in shambles. After all, the Panthers had been in the playoffs the past 4 years. A change in head coach can sometimes mean a change in the culture of the program. Here is what Loyd had to say about the high expectations for this season.
“This year is about maximizing the amazing talent we currently have as well as changing the culture around here to having a commitment in the weightroom when it comes to getting bigger, faster, stronger. We are also trying to build on the future and build a solid foundation for the future. What better time to set the foundation of the future then to maximize the current talent you have now.”Dan Loyd, Head Coach
The talent that Loyd speaks of could not be any more accurate. Junior quarterback Keegan Gilbreath and junior wide receiver David Charo formed an elite duo last season. Gilbreath was second in 2A in passing yards (2964), while Charo led 2A in receiving yards (1456). This shows the threat these two can pose through the air. You can’t stick to defending the pass against the Panthers, however. Gilbreath can also beat you in the run game. The shifty quarterback was the teams leading rusher, gaining 1069 rushing yards along with 13 TDs. Much of the offense flows through the 1-2 punch of Gilbreath and Charo. In order to compete with the tough schedule coming this season, the Panthers will need to incorporate the other players returning this season. With 10 men returning on each side of the ball, you will see an experience group on the field in Seymour this year. Loyd had high praises for his returning starters this offseason, telling me,
“Having 10 starters returning on both sides of the ball is pretty awesome and exciting. Those returning starters have been working their tails off in the off season as well as the beginning of this year. They have stepped up bigtime as far as being leaders and taking the reins of this team. I am very proud of them, and they are doing an excellent job.”Dan Loyd, Head Coach
With the tenacity and energy from their new head coach, the Seymour Panthers look to capitalize on the experience and talent coming back this year. As with all Texas high schools, the team is focused on making a deep playoff push, and this just might be the group to do it.
Here are a few other names who are poised for a breakout season:
Tyler Allbritton is a 6’2’’ senior who will bring his best on both sides of the ball. Allbritton hauled in 33 catches for 373 yards, while also leading the team in tackles last season. His length allows him to make big plays in the passing game, and his quickness and intelligence at the linebacker position place him in prime opportunities to make the stop.
Tabor Wyatt is a senior wide receiver for the Panthers. He accumulated the 3rd most receiving yards on the team (702) last season and the 12th most receiving yards in 2A. His talent is not one dimensional, however. Wyatt’s ball skills as a cornerback earned him 2 interceptions, 8 passes deflected, and 2 forced fumbles.
Isaac Wilden is a 5’6’’ 120-pound sophomore, who may be overlooked due to his size. However, his combination of speed and agility make him a big play threat every time he is fed the football. Wilden gained the 2nd most rushing yards (443), 2nd most receiving yards (765), and had the 3rd most TDs (11) for the Panthers last season. This was all coming out of the backfield, as he lined up in the running back position last season. Look for his speed and quickness to make an immediate impact this year.
Brayden Loyd, the new head coach’s son, could be on the verge of a breakout year. He proved he could provide some valuable input as a quarterback, stepping up when Keegan Gilbreath was injured. In that stretch, he logged 640 passing yards and threw 7 touchdowns. He still made his presence known in the other games too. Running for 124 yards, hauling in 319 receiving yards, and intercepting 2 passes last season as a freshman. This 6’2’’ 187-pound sophomore could be in for a monster year.