Mahomet-Seymour, PBL looking to build off last season

Sports

WCIA — The Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs and PBL Panthers both won regionals in 2016, and both are looking to get back to that mark this year.

While they’ve won back-to-back regionals, Mahomet-Seymour hasn’t won a conference title since 2011. This year will be their last chance to claim the Corn Belt crown, as next year the Corn Belt will merge with the Okaw.

“We’ve won regionals the past two years so we’re kind of the team to beat right now and teams are going to be targeting for that,” said Bradley Hamilton. “I think it’s a good thing but we know we have to come out and play strong every game.”
 
“I like the pressure because the guys the last couple of years have really built the program up and us seniors just want to keep raising the bar again for future Bulldogs,” Blake Lester added.
 
Mahomet-Seymour has some time off, they don’t play again until December 13th.
 
Paxton-Buckley-Loda made it to the sectional title game last year, where they lost to eventual state champion SJO. The Panthers lost 9 seniors from that squad, so this year will be a lot of new faces, mixed in with a few returners.
 
“Well last year we had basically the same team coming back so expectations were already in place, roles in place.  We got off to a quick start because there wasn’t much turnover.  Now this year, we’re basically bringing 11 guys on board who don’t have much varsity experience and so being able to adapt to the next level, the speed of the game and the toughness and consistency you have to play with,” head coach Adam Schonauer explained.
 
“I feel like this year it’s going to have to be more of a team effort, spread the scoring around,” senior Cole Eschleman added. “Everyone has their roles and as long as we can fill those roles, I think we’ll be all right.”
 
“We’ve been playing varsity since our sophomore year so we’re the guys that have to step up and bring this program to where it needs to be this year.  We’re the veterans and the guys every one is going to lean on,” Dalton Coplea added.
 
The Panthers are in action again on Friday night, hosting Clifton Central.

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