Top five football seasons in Lanett history

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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There have been so many incredible teams in the history of Lanett football. With this article, we’re narrowing it down to the five best football teams for Lanett. 

To come up with the ranking I used the Alabama High School Football Historical Society’s website to check records, player awards and any other information about the teams. I then used the archives at the Chambers County library to verify the information and get more accurate scores of the games. I also used any newspaper articles covering the teams that I could find to verify information. 

The criterias I used to judge the teams included overall record, performance in rivalry games, historical significance and point differential. With rankings like this one, there are always going to be different opinions. If you would like to share your opinions feel free to email me at With all that being said, here are the top five teams in the history of Lanett football. 

  1. 1994 Lanett Panthers 

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The 1994 team finished with a record of 12-2. The team was coached by Lee Gilliland, who was in his second season as the coach for Lanett. 

Some of the key players for the 1994 team were Tavokious Bonner, Barrett Askew, Tobi Johnson and Chris Ransom. Johnson signed with UT-Chattanooga out of high school and Askew signed with Auburn University. 

Each of these players were named to an all-state team. Bonner and Askew each competed in the Alabama vs Mississippi All-Star game. Askew was named as the 4A player of the year that season. The 1994 team is considered to be one of the most talented teams in Lanett’s history.

One of the best things about the 1994 Panthers team was their dominance against region opponents. The Panthers went undefeated in region play and only allowed region opponents to score a total of three points. 

In Lanett, you have to excel in the big rivalry games to be considered a great team. That season, Lanett did that and more. 

Lanett shutout Valley, LaFayette, and Handley that season. The Panthers beat both Valley and Handley by 21 points, and they beat LaFayette by 36 points. 

Over the course of the season, Lanett averaged 25 points per game and allowed just under six points per game on defense. 

The only reason that the 1994 Panthers team is just the fifth best in history is because they have losses on their record. Every team in the top four finished their seasons with an undefeated record. 

Lanett’s lone loss during the regular season in 1994 was to Alexandria by a score of 13-20. Lanett was eliminated in the semifinals of the playoffs when they lost to T.R. Miller by six points.


  1. 1963 Lanett Panthers

The 1963 Panthers finished their season undefeated with 10 wins. The team was coached by Earl Webb in his second season with the Panthers. 

The key players for the 1963 team were Gary Cooper and Paul Glover. Both players were named to an all-state team that season. 

The 1963 is one of seven mythical champions in Lanett’s history. Before Alabama had a playoff system, different publications would vote on who they felt like should be the champion. 

Even though the 1963 team did not get to have a playoff run like some of the other teams on this list, their dominance was no less impressive. 

The Panthers shutout six of their opponents that season. The defense for Lanett only allowed three points per game. 

Lanett also won the two most important games that season. Lanett shutout LaFayette and beat Valley as well. 


  1. 2019 Lanett Panthers 

This is probably going to be the most debated selection on this list. The 2019 Panthers team finished their season undefeated with 14 wins. 

The team was coached by Clifford Story in his 11th season as the head coach. Some of the key players that season for the Panthers were Kristian Story, Eric McCants, and Trey Abner. 

Kristian Story was the biggest highlight for the Panthers in 2019. Story was named Mr. Football for the state of Alabama that season. Story excelled on both sides of the ball and would commit to Alabama after the season. 

Lanett’s dominance in the playoffs in 2019 was impressive. Lanett won each of their first two playoff games by over 40 points. 

The 2019 team also won their third round game and championship game by double digits.

Lanett once again beat LaFayette, Valley, and Handley that season. Their toughest matchup of the season came against Valley on the road. Lanett won the matchup by just four points. 

The Panthers were elite on both sides of the ball in 2019. On offense, they scored an average of 37 points per game. On defense, they allowed only 11 points per game and had five shutouts. 


  1. 1957 Lanett Panthers

The 1957 Lanett Panthers get the second spot on this list for good reason. The team finished their season undefeated with 10 wins. 

The Panthers were coached by Mal Morgan in his 11th season as the head coach. Some key players for that team were Bobby Hunt, Dave Hill, Richard Wood, Jimmy Jones, and Mailon Kent. 

Mal Morgan, Bobby Hunt, and Dave Hill are all three members of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Hunt and Hill would play at Auburn University after graduating from Lanett. 

Hunt and Hill would also go on to play professional football. The two played on the same team, the Kansas City Chiefs, from 1963 until 1967. Hill was an offensive lineman and Hunt was a defensive back. 

Hunt and Hill played in the first ever Super Bowl in 1963. Hill played 12 years of professional football and Hunt played professionally for eight years. 

In 1957, Lanett only played one of the big rivalry games. The team shutout Valley and beat the Rams by 24 points. 

The Panthers shut out four of their opponents that season. The defense only allowed an average of 5 points per game. 

The offense for Lanett was just about as electric as you could get in the 1950s. Lanett averaged 25 points per game and beat every team they faced by double digits. 


  1. 2017 Lanett Panthers

The 2017 Lanett Panthers were the first team in Lanett’s history to win a state championship in the playoff era. The team was coached by Clifford Story in his 9th season as the head coach. Some key players for that season were Kristian Story, Trikweze Bridges, Terrion Truitt, Dterrion Glaze, Baraskious Dowdwell, Anquaevious Pollard and Jawon Howell. 

All of these players made an all-state team and five of the players were selected to the first team. Dowdwell was named as the best offensive lineman in 2A during 2017. Both Bridges and Story went on to play for Power Five programs. 

The year 2017 was Kristian Story’s first season as the starting quarterback for Lanett. Prior to that season his brother, Tre Story, had led the team at quarterback. 

Lanett’s dominance in 2017 was highlighted by an incredible run in the playoffs. Lanett’s closest game in the playoffs was in the championship game against Leroy, which the Panthers won by 18 points. 

Lanett won every other game during that playoff run by 25 points or more. Lanett won every game during the regular season by double digits. 

Lanett also showed dominance against their rivals in 2017. Lanett beat LaFayette, Handley and Valley by over 20 points. 

On offense, the Panthers averaged nearly 41 points per game in 2017. The defense allowed just 12 points per game.
The 2017 team gets the top spot for several different reasons. The team showed dominance in every area, they were the first to win a championship and 2017 was the start of a dominant run for Lanett.