GERONIMO—About 100 Navarro fans braved the heat on Saturday morning to get their first look at the 2019 Panther football team.

It was the 19th straight year that Navarro ended its first week of practice by inviting the community to come to Erwin-Lee Field and watch them prepare for the upcoming season.

In the past, it was played on the first Friday night and called Moonlight Madness. It was moved to Saturday last year.

Fans munched on breakfast tacos from the concession stand as they watched both the varsity and sub-varsity squads line up. Many may have noticed how much bigger the players are than those on previous Navarro teams.

Mainly it was another chance for Navarro head coach Rod Blount and his staff to work with his team as they set their sights on another deep playoff run.

“We have a lot of depth but we’re young at most positions,” Blount said.

“We’re needing our younger guys to start filling some roles. We’re especially young on the offensive line, where we really need them to play together and mesh as a unit.

“I think they’re coming along well. I’m happy with how they’ve looked.”

Blount said he and his staff are also looking for “effort and heart. The rest we can coach,” he said.

Senior running back Johnny Alegria, who was the team’s leading rusher last season with 1,354 yards, also likes where the team is in its preparations.

“We’re going at a really fast pace, learning all our plays, and getting great at them,” he said. “We’ve got to fix some little things here and there and we’ll be fine.”

The Panthers will continue working this week before meeting Fredericksburg in a practice scrimmage next Friday night at Erwin-Lee Field. The sub-varsity matchup is scheduled to start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity squads at around 6:30 p.m. They will travel to Devine on Aug. 22 for another scrimmage.

Navarro will open its regular season on Aug. 30 at Gonzales.

Scot Kibbe is a long time contributor of the Seguin Gazette.

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