With the Mayfield Cardinals’ move up a level to Class 2A, the thorn in the side of the Panthers for the past few years has been removed. Taking the Cardinals place is the Crittenden County Rockets.
Additional changes include games against Trigg County and Murray, and the Franklin-Simpson game has bercome a season finale this time around.
We recently had the opportunity to ask Panthers Head Football Coach John Myers a few questions about the upcoming season.
NDL: With Mayfield moving to 2A class, does this put the pressure on the Panthers to dominate class 1A?
Head Coach John Myers: No added pressure. We hold ourselves accountable to a high standard and who or who we don’t play will not alter that.
NDL: Any thoughts on the new kids on the block, the Crittenden County Rockets?
Head Coach John Myers: Crittenden Co. is always competitive. They have a state title to their belt as well winning the 1985 Class A Championship. They have a tremendous coach in Al Starnes and will always be prepared.
NDL: Trigg County and Murray had some success last year. The Panthers defeated Trigg county on their home field last year; Murray is new to RHS this year; both have graduated a bunch of players, but both are still quality programs; you have to feel good about having them both at home this year?
Head Coach John Myers: Trigg Co. and Murray are both good football teams. Murray advanced to the final four in Class 2A each of the past 2 years so we know how good of a football team they are. Trigg Co. also won a playoff game last year. They will both be very solid.
NDL: You have a couple games against nearby teams—each on the opposite end of the competitive scale. First is Logan County at Rhea Stadium mid-season. The Cougars have had a bad go of it of late; winless in the last two seasons, and a second-year coach. But they graduated only a handful of players and are still very young. Do you anticipate a more competitive game this year?
Head Coach John Myers: When you play Logan Co. you can throw the records out the window. They will always come into our game with a lot to prove and give a super effort. They will be much improved and I have the upmost respect for Coach Duncan and how he runs his program.
NDL: Second is Franklin-Simpson. Last year, in mid-season, the Panthers lost at home by only one point. This year the game is a season finale in Franklin. The Wildcats return to 2015 with most of their previous roster intact and a bitter taste from what they thought was an early exit from the playoffs. It’s early and a season away, but are you looking forward to that game? I’m sure that Panther fans will take the short ride down Hwy 100 to grab every seat Franklin will allow them to have to cheer the Panthers on.
Head Coach John Myers: Since Franklin-Simpson is last on the schedule; we have plenty to worry about between now and then. But you can guarantee they will be athletic and very good. They return a lot on both sides of the ball and will be looking to make a major playoff run.