During the modern era of sports fandom the Panther faithful have supported all of their schools programs with great passion, but one squad that seems give people just a little more hope than some of the others is the Centralia varsity boys basketball team.

There could be any number of reasons for that, but one big contributing factor is that in 2004 head coach David Meyers led the Panthers varsity boys hoops squad to a Class 3 state championship. The fact the team finished fourth in the state in 1983 certainly hasn't done anything to hurt its popularity, either.

Erle Bennett also created some gridiron glory for this town in 2003 when it won the Class 2 state title, as well as 2002 when Centralia fell just short of that same mark and instead was the runner-up.

The success of the wrestling team has been a little more recent. Specifically, it came in third for Class 1 in 2011 and 2010.

When it comes to boys track the Panthers have certainly had their times to shine. They've just been spread out between 2010 when the group took fourth for Class 2, in 1948 Centralia was fourth for Class C and in 1945 the Panthers finished third for Class C.

Girls track and field, on the other hand, is a much simpler story that revolves around when the program ended the year fourth in the state for Class 2A in 1985.

Softball is another story all-together because, under the direction of Jill Angell, the Lady Panthers won the Class 3 state title from 2011-13. The team also earned themselves the Class 2 state championship in 2016.

The one event you might not expect to find here is Scholar Bowl, but, according to the Missouri State High School Activities Association website, not only did Centralia finish second in Class 3 in 2001, but it also took fourth in Class 3 in 2007.