North Lamar High School football

North Lamar senior Seth Parker (1) carries the ball as he runs past Celina defenders during the Panthers’ previous district home game against the Bobcats.

Following a tough 58-6 home loss to Celina that dropped North Lamar to 0-2 in district play, Panthers head football coach Aaron Emeyabbi said that big mistakes early killed his team’s chances of creating positive momentum to go forward with in the contest.

However, the results and the lack of momentum from the Celina game are not deterring the team’s positive attitudes and work ethic — even with the No. 1-ranked Argyle Eagles next up for the Panthers.

“We are very optimistic,” Emeyabbi said. “We know that playoffs are still in sight.  We are also realistic and know that we have to win three out of the next four games to make that obtainable.  We know we have a Goliath of a team this week in top-ranked Argyle. Our mindset has never changed. We will not be broken, and we will keep standing face to face with whatever or whomever is in front of us.”

Facing Argyle has been a tall order for everyone in the state who has played the Eagles. Argyle (5-0, 1-0) undefeated on the season, and is coming off a 67-6 wipeout victory at Sanger. The Eagles have scored 283 points this season to 104 points allowed. Argyle has won each of its five games by an average margin of 35.8 points per game, which is a testament to the dominant play the team has put on display.

“Well they do a lot of things well,” Emeyabbi said of the Eagles. “It’s not the schematics that give you trouble.  In fact they are very simple in what they do. They can be simple because they outmatch most every team they face with size and speed. When you watch film on them, it is as they are practicing for the playoffs. They may run the same play eight times in a row until they think they executed it to perfection. When teams can match their size and speed, then it makes it much more difficult for them to coast through four quarters of play. They have a great program with lots of resources at their disposal. Argyle is able to draw kids from all around their location.  They will probably be moving to Class 5A soon, as they should.”

No matter the challenge in front of it, North Lamar is holding onto its goals and remaining united through the season.

“We will stay the course of our season goals, make the playoffs,” Emeyabbi said. “If we are unfortunate to obtain it then we will write some new ones and keep moving forward because that is our mindset. That is the Panther Nation mindset as well. Move forward together, never be broken.”

The Panthers will face the Eagles at 7:30 tonight in Argyle.

Geoff Heppes is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6967 or at

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