Sterlington will take a week off before reporting for preseason camp July 31.

Sterlington closed out summer workouts Thursday morning, and will officially report for preseason practice Monday, July 31.

Since winning the first state championship in program history in December, the Panthers have encountered two major storylines:

(1) Coach Jason Thompson relinquished his coaching duties, but remains at the school as an assistant principal. Less than a moth later, Lee Doty was promoted to head coach.

(2) Sterlington was reclassified into District 3-2A along with Carroll, Madison Parish, Richwood, Wossman and Union Parish.

As far as coaching turnovers go, the change has gone off without a noticeable hitch. Doty, who joined the Panthers last summer with 19 years of head coaching experience, was the logical choice to succeed Thompson. Other than the addition of Adam Waugh, who was inserted into Doty's vacated linebackers slot, there were no changes to the staff.

"Being here last year really helped," Doty said. "Being strength and conditioning coach, I worked with the kids every day last year. I had a personal relationship with them already. I think it's been a good transition."

Doty spent two years at Natchitoches St. Mary's where he guided the Tigers to a Division IV state runner-up finish in 2015. He was also a head coach for 17 years in Mississippi with stops at Houston, Aberdeen and Saltillo.

Another transition awaits the Panthers as they make the leap into a rugged 3A district.

"No disrespect to Class 2A by any means, but the physicality of the game changes," Doty said. "We have our work cut out for us. There are no weeks off in this district. Every week, we have to be prepared and ready to go.

"Our kids are excited about it, and we want to keep it that way."

Doty was pleased with the Panthers' attendance and work ethic over the past couple of months.

"We had a good summer," Doty said.

Doty was especially glad to see that the Panthers appear to be ready to turn the page on last season.

"I haven't seen any evidence of (complacency), but we have discussed it," Doty said. "The fact is last year's team won the state championship. This year's team hasn't done that. As much fun and celebrated as last year's title run was, we have to move on. It's time for this team to set its own goals and see what happens."

Two of the most pressing tasks awaiting the Panthers when camp opens are filling the fullback and free safety positions formerly manned by Tyler Muse and Darren Istré, respectively.

"In our offense and defense, those are two very important people," Doty said. "We haven't locked down those guys yet. I feel like we have some capable guys; we just haven't made a decision yet."

Austin Dupree, Jordan Townsend and Malik Davis are contending for playing time at fullback, with Chris Parker, Dorian Eddins and Chase Carter in the running at free safety. Carter has spent the summer training with the Army.

Next week will be a vacation week for the Panthers. After that, breaks in the schedule will be few and far between.

"We did that last year," Doty recalled. "It gives the guys time to get doctor's appointments taken care of and to shop for school clothes. Mainly, it gives them a chance to get physically and mentally prepared for the season. It's the same thing for the coaches — we get a chance to take care of everything before the season starts.

"It's the calm before the storm."