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Football Friday Night previews: Clarksville

Panthers feel the boost of a playoff win

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. — Few teams felt the brunt of 2020 quite like Clarksville, who started their season several weeks late thanks to COVID-19, but remained undeterred.

“We overcame a lot of things, and we’re learning how to win,” says head coach Khris Buckner. “Old teams might have folded when bad things happened, but now, when bad things happen, we battle to get out of that hole and turn it into a positive.”

The Panthers made it all the way to the postseason, then notched the programs first playoff win since 2011.

“It was great. My brother scored the game winning touchdown, and it really boosted my morale, felt really good for them,” says senior Bryce Buckner. Fellow senior Ty Frost agrees.

“It really boosted our program, trying to turn our program around. Historically we haven’t been the best, but I think it really boosted our confidence and set us in the right direction. We still have a long way to go, but it’s a good stepping stone>.”

Up next, it’s about maintaining that upward trajectory, and it starts with the seniors, says Buckner.

“This is my 22nd year in coaching, and this is one of the better groups leadership wise. A lot of it player driven, and I’m really proud to be a part of it and looking forward to what they can do.”

And Bryce thinks the Panthers are ready to change the narrative

“Everyone knows Clarksville’s been bad in the past. We’re not that team any more, I don’t want to be that team anymore, I don’t think we should be that team anymore. I think we’ve proved everyone wrong the last few years, we work harder tan we ever have in the past, and we deserve to win games. We will win games.”

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