Veteran coach Scott Callaway is entering his third year at the helm of the Bullard Panthers football program.
With a playoff appearance under their belt, Callaway and the Panthers have something to build upon in 2019. In 11 years as head coach, Callaway has a record of 71-54 with seven playoff appearances in coaching at Big Sandy, Gladewater and Bullard.
Some eight starters are returning and senior quarterback Tristen Shewmake, a transfer from Jacksonville, will be at the controls as the Panthers are optimistic about the 2019 season.
Shewmake, who sports a 4.0 GPA, saw limited action as a sophomore at Bullard. He then went to Jacksonville as a junior and was 88 of 208 for 1,430 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Shewmake has a cannon for an arm, tossing the ball around 65 yards.
Last year’s QB, Garrett Esposito transferred up the street to The Brook Hill School.
Mason Kelley, who recently committed to Louisiana Tech University for baseball, adds depth at quarterback and receiver for the Panthers. Tanner Fowler is a senior leader who the Panthers will count on at the offensive and defensive line positions. Peyton Ellis is another lineman to be counted upon.
Also, Shewmake can throw to talented receivers in Nic Hooley, Jaxson Elliott and Bryce Jewell.
The Panthers have a scrimmage scheduled against Jacksonville on Aug. 23 in Jacksonville (7 p.m.).
Bullard opens its season on Aug. 30, hosting Longview Pine Tree. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers are in the five-team District 7-4A Division II, along with Rusk, Wills Point, Brownsboro and Canton.
Bullard’s league opener is Oct. 11 at Wills Point. Homecoming is Oct. 18 against Rusk with Senior Night on Nov. 8 against Canton.