HEWITT, Texas — For Jeff Hulme and the Midway Panthers, Thanksgiving practices are nothing new.
“I’m thankful to have another week with them,” Hulme said of his team. “Just to be around them. They are great guys to be around.”
But unlike groups of the past, this group has taken a little bit bumpier of a route to the regional semi-finals, after dropping their first district game since 2013 earlier in the season, after very-nearly losing the week before.
“We’ve been through some adversity,” Senior running back Will Nixon said. “So it’s been a challenge but you just work hard and get through it.”
After their loss to Harker Heights in October the Panther Seniors called a players-only meeting.
“They had a team meeting and said hey we’re not playing up to the standard of Midway athletics and Midway football, and what the expectations are around here ” Hulme said. “And from that moment on, you know it’s been a whole new season.”
Senior Braden Endsley said they did not hold back and they have seen a vast improvement.
“We were hard on them,” he said. of the younger players. “If we don’t turn things around the we’re going to keep on losing. I think they really took that to heart and it’s helped us out a lot.”
In high school football each year is a brand new year and teams can take a while to find their footing, and Hulme likes the way his guys have built to this point.
“That’s what makes High School football so uniuque,” he said. “Every year is so different with senior leadership changing and things like that. These young men have really bought into the system, they’ve really bought into the process. Some teams it takes longer to really develop that team chemistry or whatever it is and these guys have done it.”
Midway will continue their playoff journey on Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan.