Countdown To Kickoff: Newberry Panthers

Team went 5-6 last season, vows a return to the 1A playoffs
Young squad kicks off vs. Santa Fe Aug . 26
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT
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NEWBERRY, Fla. (WCJB) -After two seasons of earning high playoff seeds, last year’s Newberry Panthers fell off pace, dropping their final three games by an average of 37 points. That slide has stuck with the Panthers ever since.

“That’s unacceptable at Newberry,” said Panthers head coach Ed Johnson. “So we’re working to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

With their own self-imposed bulletin board material in place, the Panthers have put their plan into action.

“All we have to do is take every rep like it’s our last, every play like it’s our last play,” said senior wide receiver Michael Moore.

Newberry will field only five seniors, giving young players the chance to develop.

“It means a lot, I came in last year and played a lot of varsity football,” said sophomore tight end / defensive end Logan McCloud. “We might have had a rough season but this year we’re coming back to have a way better season.”

“Mike Moore and Chaden Scott are going to be some of the guys we’ll depend on,” said Johnson.

The Panthers have also added some names you might know to their coaching staff. Former Gators Travis Mc Griff and Reid Fleming are Newberry’s new coordinators.

“They brought a lot of energy, and it’s made the team a little better,” said sophomore defensive end / tight end Mykah Newton. “They were helping the freshmen, and all that. I’m really excited, I’m ready to compete.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time running plays and stuff,” said Moore. “We’re really getting down and perfecting our craft. We’re making sure everything is good to go so we can Just keep playing fast.”

Newberry remains in Class 1A Region 4 and kicks off against rival Santa Fe. It’ll then be discovered whether playing fast will deliver fast results.

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