The Delta Panthers ended their 2016 football season one game from the state championship.
2017 will be Delta's second season in 2A. Last year the Panthers finished second in league play with a 4-1 record and a 6-3 overall record, before falling in the state semifinals to Kent Denver.
A year later, the Panthers are primed for another playoff run, but will have to do so without last season's leading passer, rusher, and receiver. Senior Damon Jensen ran for almost 2,000 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns to lead the Panthers. Now that Jensen and other seniors Tristian Brown, Kole Roberts, and Beau Byers have graduated, this year's senior class is embracing their turn to lead Delta to a championship.
"I like the pressure, it makes me, it drives me to want to become better and lead the team," said senior quarterback Drake Horn. "It's really cool actually, having the pressure to be the guy."
"I'm more of a silent leader, but I just like playing football and I like to play on the field and hopefully the freshman and underclassmen will take after that," said senior lineman Logan Church.
"Some of these kids have been waiting three years to play," said head coach Ben Johnson. "I think we will start 10 out of 11 on defense that will be seniors. They've been in our program three years so they know what the expectations are. We lost a lot of good kids but these kids have been sort of chomping at the bit to prove themselves so this is a great opportunity for them."