NEW LEXINGTON — The Panthers have a new coach, a new tactic and new attack for this football season.
New Lexington began their official practices on Aug. 1, and competition has rose in the ranks.
According to head coach Kevin Board, the team is bringing out what they want to the field.
“We’ve had good competition from old guys, and from young guys too,” he mentioned.
Now that the Panthers have their helmets and pads on, the real work begins for them during their two-a-days.
Board reported his team reviewed for the first few days of practicing to prepare them for the work.
For the Panthers’ defense, Board said they are working on reinstalling all the plays and thoughts of the sport.
“We are reinstalling everything and making sure we are where we need to be, and getting ourselves to the right place,” he said.
“The defense has been really good and we are working on getting 11 guys to the ball at all times because good things happen when we are all hustling.”
For New Lexington’s offense, the work falls on junior quarterback Logyn Ratliff as he works his team.
Ratliff has taken control of the offense and has been a vocal leader for the Panthers, according to Board.
Although Ratliff is working the lead, Board said there are several Panthers who are taking head positions for New Lexington.
“So many are playmakers for us, it isn’t just one guy that we feel like we can go to,” he said.
“We have had many step up and make plays for us, everyday.”
Board did not mention a set starting team, but he knows how all of his players are working to get positions they want.
Once they put their pads on, Board said it is anyone’s game.
“Everybody looks good in a shirt and just a helmet,” Board said.
The team is fighting the heat on their turf field, but that does not stop them from getting in the work they need tto get done.
Board reported that every practice has been a solid one, and the outlook of the team is growing to be better each practice.
“I feel really good about where we are to this point,” he said.
New Lexington starts up their season with a home scrimmage on Aug. 23 against the Claymont Mustangs.
On the first Friday Night Football date, set by the Ohio High School Athletic Associate (OHSAA), Aug. 30 will be another home turf match-up against Fairfield Union.
The Panthers will open up Muskingum Valley League (MVL) play on Sept. 6 with a travel to West Muskingum High School to face the Tornadoes.