Last season’s young roster has turned into an experienced one this year, and Hillcrest’s outlook is brighter as a result.
The Panthers return most of their starters from a squad that finished 2-8 in head coach Jacob Ramon’s first season. Fortunately for Hillcrest, one of those returnees is Nasir Reynolds.
“Our kids are like sponges and are retaining the concepts our coaches are implementing.” -Coach Jacob Ramon
The Virginia native emerged as one of the top running backs in the Dallas area in 2018, rushing for 1,956 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore.
“Our players are really working hard and are very excited about the season,” Ramon said. “I’m very pleased with our numbers and how our players are practicing.”
Aside from Reynolds, the Panthers will look to a deep senior class to set the tone, including quarterback Gabe Granados, defensive backs Trevon Norton and Khalil Ward, and linebacker Jayden Delgado.
Granados tossed four touchdown passes and ran for three scores a year ago, while Delgado was a bright spot on an otherwise beleaguered defense with 93 tackles.
As part of the rebuilding effort, Ramon said Hillcrest has “overhauled” its defense and special teams units to better suit its personnel.
“Our kids are like sponges and are retaining the concepts our coaches are implementing,” Ramon said. “I want our identity to be one of a physical football team that plays every play as hard as they can, and then we let the chips fall.”