First year head coach David Kirby addresses his team at Tuesday's practice in Monroe City.
Grant O'Bryan returns under center to lead an offensive line that returns every starter from 2012.
MONROE CITY, Mo. (WGEM) -- With just one win in 2012 it may be hard to tell just how far Monroe City can come in just one off season.
However, eight players return to the mix on both sides of the ball in a system that won't change much with the same coordinators in place under new head coach David Kirby.
"That continuity is going to be a great thing," Kirby told WGEM Sports.
"These kids have seen my face for two years, so they know what to expect, I know what to expect from them and we're just going to keep moving forward."
"(Coach Kirby) is really pushing us," added senior tight end and linebacker Dylan Buckman.
"He's really keeping everybody motivated to stay with it, stay at it. He's pushing us as hard as he can every single day."
Grant O'Bryan returns under center to lead an offensive attack that returns every starter in the trenches. The line gained valuable experience as mostly underclassmen a year ago.
"Our chemistry is great," O'Bryan expressed.
"We've all been out there and battled together, and we're going to improve a lot this year. We've already made great strides in the summer with lifting programs, and 7-on-7's, so I'm just looking forward to the year."
"After playing varsity their sophomore year I know that'll be great experience from them," added Buckman.
"They're a lot tougher, they know what to expect going in, and they know that they're a lot stronger going in."
For the Panthers, dwelling on the past isn't an option.
There are no excuses.
Only a push to improve against what is always a brutal Clarence Cannon Conference schedule.
"We're trying to just make our own opportunities to be successful," said Kirby.
These kids have not tasted much success, but they're hungry for it, and we're going to continue to move forward and build on that progress."
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