South Panthers: Numbers up, Seniors low.
J. C. Tilton
The good news for the South Panthers is that the numbers are up. About 34 players are on the roster at last count. The bad news is that only 2 of those players are seniors. So the Juniors and Sophomores will have to carry the bulk of the load this season. The lack of senior experience and maturity could be a factor this season. Still Coach Meyers is enthused about the hard work and enthusiasm of this years team. The off season conditioning was better attended and now the team has been working hard at two a days. The junior class has been exhibiting good team leadership. That is a positive factor according to Coach Meyer, “The junior class is under it's third year under me, they know what to expect.”
Some key returning players are Jarad Precht who has been moved to center on the offensive line. Joel Steerman will be tackle on both offense and defense. Koeller, Rutan, and Anthony Armstrong are all expected to contribute this season. When asked about the strengths of his team, Coach Meyer thought that the returning experience on the line would be a plus. So the team should be able to run the ball better and also the receiving corp is looking good in the early going.
As noted the team only has two seniors. Coach Meyer admitted that being young may be a weakness, but “We are young with some experience. Many of these players had varsity playing time last year as freshmen and sophomores because we had no 11th graders. [Plus] the
Junior year is when you step it up as a varsity player. There have been some minor changes on the staff, Tim Connor left for Stebbins to be with his brother who is head coach and Jody Cook left.
Taking their place are Trace Smithermen on defense and Chris Fogle who will work with linebackers and secondary. Returning are Danny Reynolds line coach, Jim Jewitt, and Tim Tinson.
The last question if there were goals/challenges for this season. The theme is team - anything is possible for a team. And according to Coach Meyer the players are buying into team concept. He characterized the team as hardworking, “Going at full speed all the time - 100 miles per hour”. The goal for the season is to be hard hitting - “if we lose we still battled for 4 quarters -just compete”. The Panthers will open against Dixie the last Friday in August. Watch next week for previews for TCN and Dixie.
The TVS Junior High team is coached by Rick McCollough, Ralph Lundsford, and Coach Swanson there are about 23 players. They will open against Bradford in September. The TVS Wee Panthers have begun practice and have about 46 players out this fall. The Wee Panthers open September 12 against Bradford at TVS 1pm. Comments: email: Chris Tilton