Panthers looking to improve in 2018
Football is just a day away, and today we preview the North Penn-Mansfield Panthers.
Head Coach: Tom Dickinson
2017 Season Record: 6-5
Key Returners: Brent Burleigh, Garrett David
Last season the Panthers finished 6-5 overall and went 5-3 in the NTL Large School Division. This year, the main goal for the Panthers is to improve both records.
“The league is always tough,” said Panther head coach Tom Dickinson. “Half of the teams made the playoffs last year. Each game in the NTL is a battle you gotta prepare for. We just want to try and get better from last year. We were 6-5 and made the playoffs so we want to finish higher in the league and make it back to the playoffs.”
The road back to the District IV Class AA playoffs will be a difficult one as the Panthers open up this Friday on the road in Montoursville, a AAA team, before hosting Large School rival Athens in week two.
“We’re familiar with them (Montoursville) and have scrimmaged them for years,” Dickinson said of his opening week opponent. “This is the first time we’ve played them ever. They’re a good football and it’s down at their place so it’ll be a tough challenge.”
Luckily for the Panthers they bring back two major players for their senior seasons. Quarterback Brent Burleigh and fullback/linebacker Garrett David are back with hopes of having great senior years.
Burleigh was 4th last year in the NTL with 1,262 passing yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 57% of his passes (117-205). Burleigh, however, loses two of his key receivers from last season in Dylan Wesneski and Nick Kasper, so the Panthers will be looking for new players to step in and fill those roles.
David led the NTL in total tackles (132) in 2017 while picking up 5 sacks. The senior linebacker produced solid numbers in May’s college scouting combine, and will look to lead the league in tackles again. Also, look for David to potentially see an increased role in the offense this year as the Panthers also graduated 1,000-yard running back in Brendan Hill.
While there are many new faces on both sides of the ball for the Panthers, the team should be poised for a post-season run in 2018.
Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Lauren Gooch
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by First Citizens Community Bank