TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The first round of the playoffs is this week for high school football teams in Florida, and at St. John Paul II, the Panthers are confident heading in that's in part to some key players.
One of those players is senior Daniel Dial, this week's ABC 27 Scholar-Athlete of the Week.
There's nothing better than seeing results after working hard to get them.
"From the summertime, everybody came out here ready to work," said Dial. "Here we are."
The Panthers have three shut-out wins and a victory over 7A Chiles, all thanks to guys like senior Daniel Dial buying in.
"You want everybody to buy into your vision and your dream of what you're trying to build at a program," said Ed Hill, the head football coach at St. John Paul II. "He's a kid that did that from day one. He's the kid that was getting kids going to the gym when it was time to work out, all 12 of them. He was pushing those kids!"
"Seeing his vision, I said, 'I want to get on board with that and be part of something special,'" Dial said. "And I feel like we're doing something special at this school."
Dial is a leader who's getting it done on the field and in the classroom. He has a 4.0 unweighted GPA.
"I hear kids, 'Daniel, can you help me with this? Daniel, can you look at this,'" said Hill. "He's that guy. He's that guy all around on and off the field. We always tease him on the field that he overthinks things sometimes. We're like, 'stop thinking and play football,' but unfortunately, when you have a 4.0, you think about everything!"
A thinker who's making people think about the Panthers.
"People talk about, JP2, 'did you see that win? Oh my gosh, they're in the playoffs,'" said Dial. "I think it's great to be a part of something like that."
"He's getting to reap the reward as we all are right now with our program and where it's heading and what's going on now," Hill said.
"It's every day, brick by brick," said Dial. "We're excited about that."
Thanks to a lot of hard work to get here.
Dial said he wants to play football at the next level, where he'll study to become a sports agent one day.