SAN ANTONIO — Brandeis will certainly be stiff competition for O'Connor in 2019, but since the Panthers have not lost a district game since 2015, David Malesky's group will continue to be the team to beat.
O'Connor lost some good talent, most notably OL Brannon Brown, who is at TCU now, but Texas commit Logan Parr remains and he will lead the big boys up front. The Panthers return eight starters on offense and six starters on defense. Running back Zion Taylor will carry a big load as he did last year. Taylor rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2018. Defensively, watch out for Pryson Greer. He's one of the best defensive tackles in the area and will certainly play Division I ball after his days in Helotes are done.
The first game against Steele at Farris Stadium will be one of, if not, the best matchups from opening night. O'Connor hosts Cibolo Steele in the only non-district game for the Panthers. Once that contest is over, all eyes move to Oct. 11 where O'Connor meets Brandeis for a huge rivalry game. The stands at Farris Stadium should be sold out once again for that one.
The Panthers finished 10-1 in 2018, but exited the 6A playoffs early after losing to Reagan in the opening round. If O'Connor strings together another top finish in the regular season, you know they'll be motivated to go deeper in the postseason.