Panthers Middle School Football Preview
Football practice has been an adventure for all football teams and middle school programs are no exception. The Cumberland Gap Middle School Panthers football team is currently battling the heat of summer in order to improve and prepare for a unknown type of season.
Head coach Ben Owens is cautiously optimistic about the 2020 Panthers but he admits it is shaping up to be a strange start to the season, “The season will be interesting. The TSSAA has put some good guidelines in place if the teams adhere to the guidance shouldn’t have any problems.”
As always, middle school teams have lower numbers than high school to begin with but with 23 players coming to workouts Owens believes by the time school starts the number will be bigger. “I think a lot of kids are ready to get out of the house,” Owens added.
Owens gets excited talking about the new team, “Overall I think we will be good. We have a good group of eighth grade leaders and a we have had a good turnout for the sixth grade group. We should be pretty solid throughout all disciplines.”
Coaches never base a season around wins and losses but Owens has a clear goal for the team, “Our goal this season is to make it to the playoffs.”
The regular season games will be limited to six and if guidelines are followed Owens believes they can compete safely despite the COVID-19 situation, “I have had some great support from school leaders and parents amid this very strange season. We will be as careful as we can and adhere to the guidelines to prevent covid and make the best out of this six game season.”
The Panthers first game will be September 13 if the pandemic doesn’t force another change.
By: Allen Earl
(Photo by Allen Earl)
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