TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Brick by brick has been the St. John Paul II's motto since Ed Hill took over as the Panthers football coach in 2019, and every year, they've gotten better. Coach Hill stepped down this spring, and longtime assistant Tremaine Hughes, Sr. stepped in, and it's been business as usual. Bricks are still being laid.
"Brick by brick. We still have that motto, we're still going for that," he said.
For the St. John Paul II football team, brick by brick is a motto and a mindset. The foundation's set, it's up to Hughes to build on.
"We're here now, so we expect to be here now, and we expect to win state."
"We come here to work everyday," said rising senior Kamyren Baxter. "That's our goal everyday. Make state, make state, make state. That's our goal everyday. Nothing's really changed."
Because coach Hughes is a familiar face for the Panthers.
"It's same old coach Tremaine, the same old good coach who's going to make you work," said Baxter. "He's going to get you better everyday."
Hughes was an assistant for the program for three years before accepting the head coaching job, his first at the high school level, in March.
"My focus has always been just the kids. I have to expand my focus, and allow my coaches to do some other things I was doing last year."
Some changes, for coach and the kids.
"We're working out way more consistently," said Baxter. "Every single day except on Friday. We're working every single day."
But it's the same mission.
"My goal and my conversation, with the kids, with the parents and everyone, our goal is to win state," said Hughes. "As a team, that is our goal."
"Ever since my freshman year, that's been the goal," said Baxter. "Win state, win state, win state. He's preaches that every day."
A goal that's been built, brick by brick.
"I helped build that weight room," said Baxter. "This program has been elevated a lot."
"This is the first class I came in with, class of 2024," added Hughes. "This is an opportunity for them to go out. Now to see them as 18 year old grown men, I'm excited."
The Panthers kick off their season at IMG Academy on August 25th.