Parkland using 2020 playoff loss as motivation into this season

High School Sports

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — They don’t rebuild, they reload.

It might sound cliché, but Parkland has established itself as one of the top high school football programs in El Paso. The Matadors have made it to at least the second round of the Texas high school football playoffs in each of the last five years, and that consistency continues to make them a threat in 2021.

During last year’s pandemic-shortened season, Parkland went 7-2 (4-0) and won the district and bi-district championship. The Matadors lost to Randall in the Area Round of the playoffs on the final play of the game, a Hail Mary that sent the Raiders to the Regional Quarterfinals, 36-35 the final.

While last year’s exit in the playoffs was heartbreaking at the time, Parkland is using the loss as fuel to their fire for the upcoming season.

“It’s definitely motivation for those guys to improve, win one more trophy and go one more round deeper in the playoffs,” said head coach Eric Frontz. “They’re working really hard to achieve their goal.”

The Matadors return 12 starters from a season ago and are considered the favorites to repeat as district champions.

“[The playoff loss] is in the past and it’ll stay there,” said junior offensive lineman Tyrone McDuffie. “We’re focused on the future and the now. We’re going to keep working hard everyday and when we make it back to that [playoff] game, we’re going to finish.”

Parkland will open the season on Friday, Aug. 27 against Eastwood. The season premiere of the award-winning high school football wrap-up show, 9 Overtime, will also be on Friday, Aug. 27.

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