The Plano East Panthers are turning the page on a new chapter and the team’s senior leaders are already noticing a change.
With head coach Tony Benedetto taking over the Plano East football program, the athletes have taken to the field with renewed energy this spring. Some players have already noticed the changes, even though it’s just a few weeks into the new season.
“It’s a new whole culture for us,” linebacker Chiagozie Oliver said. “The first practice in the weight room, we had music blasting, which we never had before, so it shocked us. Now everything has changed and everyone wants to play. Coach B has been a great factor for that.”
The Panthers have been flying around the ball all spring, and at practice, you can see the team working hard to take in the new playbook. The team’s early preparations don’t show a lot of wholesale changes, but Quarterback Elijah Prince said the pace of the offense feels a lot quicker. He’s noticed the effort put in by his teammates to learn the playbook from the start.
“We’re moving around a lot more and the energy is so high in practice,” Prince said. “I want us to win a lot of games and have a good record. Maybe we’ll get a chance to make a run in the postseason too.”
Plano East entered spring off of a 2-8 season in 2021. The program was 3-26 in the last three seasons before coach Benedetto took over in the spring. It’s something defensive lineman Aden Luecke said began taking a toll and put a lot of pressure on the players.
“It’s a much better energy and we all have one certain goal,” Luecke said. “I feel like we said we wanted to win last year but didn’t really set goals to do that. Everyone has a goal and is working hard to get there.”
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By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]