Going through this time of uncertainty, one thing still remains certain. Despite the season being on hold and students not on campus, the Dumas High School athletic department wants each and every student-athlete to continue developing and conditioning to be better than yesterday.
The high school has implemented a workout program for the athletes in order to keep active and keep training during these changing times. They will continue coursework to stay on track with their education and develop their minds.
The coaches and athletic staff want to ensure they are still adhering to their mission and vision statements.
"We have our Demon DNA, that's kind of like our constitution," head baseball coach Ryan Pannell said.
He said the mission of our team is, first and foremost, to develop character traits in the student-athletes that they will can utilize in the world beyond high school.
"That's the top priority among anything that we're looking to establish and build and create," he said.
He also noted a vision statement included having a 100 percent passing rate at graduation in May. The statement also includes time to complete service and leadership projects within the community. Also included in that are the team goals for the season. The goals this year are to be a selfless teammate, to compete for a district championship and to make a playoff run.
"That's kind of the order we look at things … sometimes it's easier said than done," Pannell said.
The last two goals are probably not going to be fulfilled this year, but that's what they were working towards. Now Pannell and his staff look towards next season to see what they can accomplish, keeping in mind their mission and vision statements as they move forward.
As next season comes, it may look a little different. Pannell explained the district run this season was going to be challenging. He said Pampa was picked to win district this year, while Dumas came in second. Perryton was third and the fourth place team was unclear. He said all the teams in the district were strong and district play was going to be competitive.
"Pampa went three rounds deep last year, they're going to be really solid," Pannell said. "Perryton's got really good athletes over there and they're very, very well coached … so they're going to be tough as well. Dalhart and Borger – you can't just assume anything on those two … Dalhart's got athletes as we can see from their basketball team and Borger too."
The whole district is tough in its current setting for District 4-4A , which is Pampa, Perryton, Borger, Dalhart and Dumas. Preparing for a competitive district can be difficult, but Pannell sought to keep his players focused.
"You got to be focused. That has to be a top priority, as an athlete or a team," he said. "… You're going to have to find a way to maintain your team atmosphere. Prepare them physically, obviously, as well as mentally and getting them focused."
With the realignment earlier this year, baseball will typically follow suit with basketball. So, for next season, Dalhart will be out of this district, however, Canyon and Hereford will be added. So the district will become a six-team district – Pampa, Perryton, Borger, Dumas, Canyon and Hereford.
The district was challenging and competitive, and it appears it will become even more so for next season.