Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The Euclid Panthers return to action next week as they travel to Mentor to take on the Lake Catholic Cougars. Last year the Cougars represented the only blemish on Euclid's regular season record defeating them 27-13 in the opener a year ago. 9-1 during the regular season, including a thrilling win over Mentor 35-34 in what was probably the best game of the 2007 season. The journey into the post season ended quickly though as the Panthers lost to Boardman in the first round.

A lot has changed around Euclid since last season. Tom Gibbons takes over at head coach for the retired Mike Rezzola. Howard Drake and Devon Jennings have moved on to Baldwin Wallace College. Quarterback will come down to how well Dontravious Smith and David Thompson play in two a days. Early indications point to Thompson. Jeffvron Gill will be the workhorse for the Panthers this year at runningback. Another guy to keep an eye on is Donald Bell at inside linebacker in Euclid's 4-3 attack.

The first thought is Euclid will be a defensive oriented team with Gibbons at the helm, but never doubt the firepower of the Panthers on offense and special teams. Yes there are some questions and holes to be filled with the departure of Jennings, Drake and Travis Smith, but everybody from athletic director Tom Banc down to the fans all believe in their Panther football team this year.

A schedule that includes Lake Catholic, Mentor and St. Edward just boasts excitement. Head coach Gibbons' father John and the Bedford Bearcats are scheduled to return to Euclid again this year in the father - son match-up, in which the younger took the honors last year. Euclid can be humble about their team's chances, but seeing them in scrimmages and summer competition makes Euclid our dark horse to win the Lake Erie League outright.

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