HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Permian begins season against familiar foe

For Permian, the long-awaited start to the season finally comes this week with a home game at 7 p.m. Friday against Abilene High at Ratliff Stadium.

It’s an opponent that the Panthers know all too well, having been former District 2-6A foes before the Eagles went back to 5A in 2022.

Last year, Permian opened the season with a 17-3 win over Abilene High at Shotwell Stadium.

Coached by Mike Fullen, the Eagles are coming off a 6-7 overall, 3-3 in District 2-5A, D1, record from last year which ended with a 24-14 loss to Centennial in the regional semifinal round of the playoffs.

Permian head coach Jeff Ellison is anticipating a tough challenge in the season opener.

“First of all, their coach does a great job,” Ellison said. “I’ve known those guys for years now. They do an outstanding job. They’re well-coached. They’re very disciplined on both sides of the ball. The kids play hard. That’s the first thing you see when you turn on the film with those guys. I think they’ve improved offensively. Defensively, they’re pretty sound, year in and year out. It’s going to be a great game.”

The Eagles return eight starters on offense and four on defense.

>> Tougher than it looks: Despite losing last year’s contest to the Panthers, the Eagles have had Permian’s number a couple of times in recent years, winning two of the last three meetings.

In 2020, Abilene High survived a 27-25 contest at Permian.

In 2021, the Eagles won, 42-21, at Shotwell Stadium.

>> Scrimmage: Last week, Permian held its first and only varsity scrimmage of the season, going up against El Paso Pebble Hills Thursday in Van Horn.

Ellison said he thought his team was very physical on both sides of the ball.

“I was pleased with that,” Ellison said. “We did make some mistakes, but all of our kids still did well. It’s very positive right now. The kids want to be coached and want to make the plays and want to do well. For us this week, the important thing is to relax and play football because they’re working hard. They want to do a good job.”

>> Around District 2-6A: Permian won’t be the only team from 2-6A that will be facing a team from 2-5A DI.

Midland Legacy will begin its 2023 campaign with a long road trip up north to Amarillo High in a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday at Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo.

Crosstown rivals Odessa High will also be on the road this week, facing Lubbock Monterey (also from 2-5A DI) at 7 p.m. Friday in Lubbock.

Wolfforth Frenship will also be battling 2-5A DI opponent Lubbock Coronado at 7 p.m. at home Friday.

San Angelo Central will play hosts to Killeen Shoemaker (out of District 4-5A DI) at 7 p.m. Friday in San Angelo.

Midland High will begin its season against El Paso Montwood at 7 p.m. Friday at Astound Broadband Stadium.