CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WATE-TV) – Following a 6-5 season in 2021, Stone Memorial took a huge leap in 2022, finishing the year 10-2 with just one regular season loss. The Panthers’ magical run ended in the second round of the playoffs.

Now the question is: Can the Panthers recreate that same success this season and make it farther in the postseason?

Head Coach Derik Samber is asking the same thing.

“I’m excited to see how we handle success,” said Samber. “We won the region last year and won ten ball games. How do we handle success? How do we handle expectations? How we build on last year is really exciting for me.”

However, senior Deacon Disney doesn’t believe there are high expectations on this Stone Memorial squad, despite what it accomplished a season ago.

“I think everybody was a little surprised last year,” said Disney. “Nobody is really expecting much from us. I mean honestly, we don’t really have too much to lose. I think we have a lot to prove. I think we’ve got a good ride going in this year.”

Coach Samber has already seen changes in his squad this year thanks to what they accomplished last season.

“I think there’s a little more confidence, a little more swag coming off success as opposed to maybe a struggling season,” said Samber. “But we’re definitely seeing that in our kids so far and excited to see how they respond.”

Stone Memorial kicks off the season Aug. 18 against Cookeville.