Panthers are over transition period - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Panthers are over transition period

August 14, 2005

Americus - The 2004 season was one of adjustments for the Americus-Sumter Panthers.

They had new teammates with the merger of the two high schools, a new head coach and they moved up two classifications.

Perhaps the biggest adjustment was not getting to watch the second half from the sidelines.

Bill Clark "When we got here we had to tell our kids that football game wasn't going to be over at halftime any more. You are going to have to play four full quarters to win a ballgame and sure enough it proved it all the way last year."

The Panthers are ready to play four quarters of football this year with five starters back on offense and six on defense.

Nate Samas steps in for Cedric Johnson at quarterback but Samas proved last season he was the quarterback of the future by starting and winning two games.

Clark said "He has got a lot of room to fill as far as shoes and everything but the kids believe in him and they think he can win."

The Panther offense will also have Mark Varner in the backfield and 6'6" tight end Larry Woolard is being compared to former Americus High Panther Leonard Pope.

The strength of the Americus-Sumter defense is the secondary that has three starters back.

Clark said "They have gotten into the heads of the players that AAAA football is kinda of like college football, that you have got to bring your "A" game to practice every day so that you can play your "A" game on Friday..

Americus-Sumter faces a tough opener on the road Friday night at Early County.

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