NEW DEAL, TX (KCBD) - In the game of football, adversity will come, but it’s how the team will handle the adversity that will define them.
Last Friday, the Panhandle Panthers jumped out to a lead over New Deal in the first quarter – that was something new to the Lions.
“Well, we were just excited to see how our kids came together,” New Deal head coach Matt Hill said. “You know, we got behind and that was the first time all year that we have been there. We were just excited about how our kids responded, and we came out in the second half and beat a very well-coached Panhandle team.”
There was a lot to be excited about for New Deal in the second half of the game.
The Lions would score 51 of their 67 points and would go on to beat Panhandle 67-49, to punch their ticket to the Region Finals of the UIL 2A-Division 1 playoffs.
With them being the Region Finals, New Deal is one of eight teams in Class 2A-Division 1 still playing in the State.
Where up next, they are set to play Stinnett’s West Texas High School Comanches – a team with a record of 11-3 on the season.
“West Texas has a lot of speed on the field. They are very big up front and they are going to force us to be sound on both sides of the ball,” Lions head coach Matt Hill said. “You know, everyone that is still in it is going to be pretty good this time of the year, and the New Deal Lions will have to put their A-game out there.”
Initially, the game was slated for Friday but with the possibility of severe weather, both teams agreed to move it to Thursday for the safety of the teams and the fans.
“There is always a buzz here in New Deal,” senior Zachary Vasquez said about New Deal fans. “They tell us, that we can make it and we just need to push our hardest.”
The third-ranked New Deal Lions are just two games away from playing for the coveted state title, but they know – they must take it one game at a time.
“Well, we want to keep on going hopefully to state, and hopefully beat West Texas to move on,” Vasquez said. “But, one game at a time.”