Another July, and another championship for the Albany Panthers. Celebrating another championship on our nation's birthday Wednesday afternoon, the Albany Panthers took to the streets for the PIFL title.
The victory parade streamed through downtown Albany just like last year. However, many of the Panthers players, and Coach Lucious Davis, said 2012 was different- it was their final swan song with the team.
But it appears going for a third title is too much to give up.
Panthers Head Coach Lucious Davis confirmed at Wednesday's parade that he will return to the team as head coach next season.
"It's hard to walk away when you have so much success. You have a great fan base. It's kind of hard to walk away," Coach Davis said.
"After (Saturday's) game, we talked and coach (Davis) will be back, and we'll also have, I believe, a core of the guys back. They want to come back and play. They want a three-peat," Panthers General Manager Will Carter said.
The opportunity for a third straight title was just too sweet. But it was the city of Albany that was sweeter for Davis.
"You have people in the community that see me...whether it's at the grocery store or what have youâ|they all have kind words. You know, it's just hard...the relationship I have with my players ...it's just real hard to say I'm done," Davis said.
The players echoed Coach Davis' sentiment- hoisting a third trophy is enough incentive for one more run for most Panthers veterans.
"I do know a lot of us are beat up and a lot us are getting old. I mean if they decide to come back it's going to be for another championship. That's the only reason to come back," Panthers longtime wide receiver Antwone Savage said.
"I guess a dynasty. You know, for each other, for the city of Albany. This is the best team I ever played on, so we all got the same mentality to come back and win one more," linebacker Corey Rue said.
While nothing is guaranteed, the core that has created this Panthers dynasty of back to back championships is going to be in tact for 2013.