Jacksonville Daily Progress
By Jay Neal
BULLARD – There's a lot to be said for proper balance; and balance is a word that accurately sums up the Bullard Panthers' 2013 varsity football schedule.
Of Bullard's four non-district opponents, two (White Oak and Diboll) are projected as playoff teams in their respective conferences while the remaining two (Quitman and Huntington) are not expected to contend for post-season berths this fall.
For the youthful – Bullard returns just 12 letterman – Panthers a season opening test at Quitman could serve well.
Week 1 and 2 will be much more difficult with White Oak and Diboll scheduled to invade Panther Stadium in back-to-back weeks.
Bullard's final test before the bye week on Sept. 27 and the subsequent District 16-4A opener at Kilgore the following week is a home game against what usually is a woeful Huntington Red Devil team.
A noticeable oddity regarding the Panthers' district slate is that Bullard takes on all of the conference powers (Kilgore, Chapel Hill and Gilmer) on the road this year, while playing the loop's lesser regraded opponents (Gladewater, Henderson, Spring Hill) at home.
Bullard's first home conference affair is slated for Oct. 11 when the Bears of Gladewater come to town.
If the Panthers cane take care of their district business at home they should be in a position to prance should any of the teams predicted to finish ahead of them in the 16-4A race (i.e. Kilgore, Gilmer, Chapel Hill and Henderson) falter.
The Panthers will once again be put to the test in Weeks 7, 8 and 9, having to take on Chapel Hill (away), Henderson (home) and Gilmer (away) in consecutive weeks.
2013 Bullard Panther Football Schedule
Aug. 30-Quitman Away
Sept. 6-White Oak Home
Sept. 13- Diboll Home
Sept. 20-Huntington Away
Oct. 4-Kilgore+ Away
Oct. 11-Gladewater+ Home
Oct. 18-Chapel Hill+ Away
Oct. 25-Henderson+ Home
Nov. 1-Gilmer+ Away
Nov. 8-Spring Hill+ Home
All games begin at 7:30 p.m.. + = 16-3A game.
Can't miss this one – Oct. 11 vs. Gladewater … Game will be big because it is the first district game of the year scheduled for Panther Stadium and it will be the first time in 28 days Bullard has played at home.
Key game – Once again, Oct. 11 vs. Gladewater … Panthers will most likely have to win this one to remain in the playoff chase.
Watch out for – A string of games that begin on Oct. 18 (at Chapel Hill), and continue on Oct. 25 vs. Henderson and Nov. 1 at Gilmer could have head coach Shannon Wilson and his staff pulling out their hair, as the competition is stiff.