Midlothian High School head coach Doug Wendel has been coaching in the Panther program since he took over in 2015 and led the team to a third round playoff appearance last year with the help of some twin leaders on the field.
Both standing at 5-foot-11, Cameron and Carsen Bates have been at Midlothian for the entirety of their high school career, and have emerged as important factors not only on the football field but in the Panthers' program as a whole.
“Carsen and Cameron Bates [are] two of the leaders and a big heart and soul of our program,” Wendel said. “They love to compete, they love being Panthers.”
The indentical twin 2023 prospects have made significant contributions to the Panthers' program and take a lot of pride in what they have been able to do.
“Everyone doesn’t get to play alongside their brother their whole life so it’s really just a blessing,” Carsen said. “Seeing everything change from how it started to where we are now is unbelievable and just a blessing for everyone in the program.”
The Bates' helped Midlothian to one of its best seasons in program history in 2021, one that saw the Panthers defeat Fort Worth Brewer and Lubbock Coronado in the first two rounds of the playoffs. But with a season left to go for the twins, there is still focus on getting everyone better this offseason.
“For this offseason my main focus is to bond with the team and get to know the incoming freshmen more and let them feel welcomed into the Panther program,” Carsen said.
Carsen has been a multi-tool athlete for the Panthers playing multiple positions on offense and strong safety on defense. On the defensive side of the ball is where No. 2 shined with three interceptions, 54 solo tackles, 80 total tackles, and five tackles-for-loss, along with one forced fumble all during his junior year.
Cameron, just like his brother, is a multi-tool player who shines on defense as a free safety. In his one and only year of varsity football, No. 5 totaled 32 tackles and one fumble recovery in 11 games.
Both performances helping the Panthers to thier best record since the 2018-19 season in which the team finished with a 9-3 record.
"[I think that it] shows that no matter what the past was like we can always do something special," Carsen said. "So don’t be surprised if we go even farther this year!"
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