The Russellville Panthers football team has not been idle this off season. Adding two new coaches to their high school staff, showed just how committed the Panthers are to winning, and winning now. With so much talent returning to this year’s squad, the Panthers football team needed that extra bump in coaching to compete for that elusive state talent.
Being in a district with perennial power Mayfield tends to do that to opposing teams.
But with the coaching staff strengthening their high school staff, they all know how important having a strong feeder system in place is. With teams like Beechwood, the aforementioned Mayfield, and Hazard in their class now, they all have robust feeder programs and the Panthers are quick to show they can step up their game with them.
Earlier last week the Panthers brought former Butler County middle school coach Pete Ries into the fold at Russellville as he was named the Russellville middle school head coach.
“He did a tremendous job at Butler County,” RHS head football coach John Myers said. “His teams at Butler County were always fundamentally sound, played hard and aggressive and got the most out of his talent. I think our kids will enjoy playing for Pete and I think this really helps our overall program”
Coach Pete Ries will be joining the Russellville football coaching staff after spending most of his coaching career at Butler County overseeing their middle school program. Ries directed the feeder program that helped guide the high school Bears to a 8-4 record last season and 38-33 overall since 2006.
“Pete brings a wealth of football knowledge to Russellville, he has been a life long middle school coach,” coach Myers said. “I had talked to Pete over the last four or five years to try and get him over here in some capacity and it just worked out this time.”
Now with their new coach in place in the middle school program, the young Panthers are expected to not only help out the high school program for years to come, but to enjoy success on their level as soon as next season.
“We’re excited about our middle school football team, they have a lot returning from last year and I’m looking forward to working with Pete,” coach Myers said. “He’ll have the opportunity and flexibility to put his twist on things, but overall that’s what we want to do is to try and develop the program from the ground up and it all starts with our middle school feeder program.”
The Panthers now have their feeder program geared for a title run, and with the new addition to their coaching staff it seems that Russellville is all but ready to chase down that elusive state title.
And it all starts August 17th.