NEW LEXINGTON — Despite the heat and hard work, the Panthers are fighting to get ready for the upcoming season during their summer workouts and mini camps.

Throughout July, the Panthers lift together everyday, but three times a week, they are out at Jim Rockwell Stadium practicing and preparing for the end of August.

Head coach Kevin Board said he and the players are using this time to strengthen and condition their bodies and making sure they are where they need to be.

The camp consists of position practicing, but spacing the days out enough to keep the players on their toes.

The Panthers are slowly, but surely, becoming a team throughout the difficult workouts.

In their team, a few players are making the atmosphere a competitive one as some have stepped up to be the leaders.

“Christian Vance and Seth Burgess have really stepped up and set the pace in the weight room,” said Board.

“Vance, not so much a vocal leader, but he always pushes himself, and everyone sees that as he leads by example.”

“Burgess has been a vocal guy, and Clayton Hinkle too.”

The younger players are listening to the leaders and competing to meet those standards at practice and lifting, according to Board.

With Board stepping in as a new head coach, he is creating a different world for the Panthers in practice.

During the mini camps, Board said he is changing up the offensive drills and practices.

“Offensively, it is going to be completely different from years before,” he said.

“Defensively, and special teams, it’ll be the same.”

“We are putting in the basics of offense and defense, so when August comes, we can hit the ground running against Fairfield Union.”

After last year’s season, Board said he has some skill returning for New Lexington.

The Panthers have shown how athletic they can be, and Board said it is a advantage they have this season.

“I think there is a ton of athletes here, and we’ll find a way to get everyone the ball,” he said.

Board’s strategic plan will be using all the assets he has on his team, making them a hard team to beat.

“If we are versatile on who we get the ball to, its going to be tough to defend us,” he said.

“My goal is to spread the ball out and get the ball to the guy that is open, not necessarily the one we want, or they expect us, to get it to.”

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