Updated Tue, Aug 13, 2013 11:28 am
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series continues in the MVL, where competition is always high from top to bottom.
If last season was a bit of a roller coaster for New Lexington, the high point of that roller coaster came at the end of the season. The Panthers ended on a three game win streak but came shy of making the playoffs. Nonetheless it was a solid season. 2013 may prove to be a rebuilding season as they Panthers lose 14 seniors out of a roster of only 40. However, Coach Bill Nutt looks to make the best of the situation.
Here are three things to know about the 2013 New Lexington Panthers:
1. A New Starter Under Center
Junior Colin Russell is a first-year starter for the Panthers this season. Nutt describes Russell as a “confident athlete” who already has some leadership experience being the point guard for the basketball team. In a balanced MVL, that experience could help the offense this season.
All offseason, Nutt and Russell have been working on the passing game. Russell will also look to his offensive line for some protection.
2. Fixing the Defense
In seven wins last season New Lex defense gave up just 53 combined points. However in the three losses it allowed a combined 101 points. All three losses came against teams that loved to run the ball: Maysville, John Glenn and Tri Valley.
Like most small defenses, the Panthers rely on speed and angles to get to the football quickly. Still, New Lex cannot be overpowered in the run game to compete with the best teams in the league.
New Lex has a very young team this year; only a few starters have returned. Nutt will rely on first year seniors and some juniors to step up this season on both sides of the ball.
Nutt said that through the early stages of practice, he has seen the returning seniors step up to the plate and help the greenhorns on the team. The team has been working together throughout the offseason to prepare for league competition.
The Panthers host Fairfield Union to open the season Friday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.