Football seniors pave way for the future


maddie cooke

The Longhorns defeated the number two and three seeds in the district tournament before falling to the number one seed, Fort Zumwalt North Panthers.

The Longhorns fell short in winning their first District Championship game in over 15 years. The undefeated Panthers beat the visiting Horns 35-0. Fort Zumwalt North scored 14 points in the first quarter, but then failed to score again until mid-way through the fourth quarter.

“They were a really good football team. However, we had some moments in the game where we could have capitalized on some opportunities. We needed a better game on both sides of the ball to beat them,” senior linebacker Evan Shukers said.

At the end of the second quarter, senior running back Nick Lewis returned a kickoff 70 yards into North territory. A penalty on the play moved the ball up ten yards to the 20 yard-line. The Longhorns were unsuccessful at converting on fourth down and turned the ball over on downs.  

“It could have been a huge momentum shift in the game. Nick had a great return, he really set up our offense for a manageable touchdown drive,” junior offensive lineman Logan Williams said. “Fort Zumwalt played great defense all night, we could never really get our offense going.”

The Longhorns finished the year with a record of 6-6. It was the first time since 2008 the Horns finished with a record at .500.

“It was a great ride. The fact that we were the last Parkway team standing in the playoffs for the first time in 30 years is remarkable. These group of seniors have really changed the program for the better,” junior linebacker Drew Seers said.

The last time the Longhorns made it to the District Championship was during Blaine Gabbert’s junior season, 2004.

“No one believed in us except each other. It was an up and down season,losing three in a row to Summit, U-City and Central. This team never quit though and fought through adversity. In the end we finished on a high note,” senior safety Simon Lindo said.

The Longhorns will lose 15 seniors in 2016, 12 of which started on both sides of the ball. The class of 2016 won 20 games in four years of play.
“I will remember this playoff run we had for the rest of my life. These past four years have flown by and I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” senior offensive lineman Brian Loomis said.