Preview

Panthers start from scratch

Brown revamps all aspects of programBrown revamps all aspects of program

ainelson@thestate.comAugust 18, 2012 

  • FOOTBALL PREVIEWS One in a series of previews on Midlands teams. Sunday: Ridge View and Heathwood Hall Batesburg-Leesville Coach: Jerry Brown 2011 record: 1-10, 1-4 Key player: Jac’quiel Chandler, quarterback, must master the new offense Key game: The next-to-last conference game against Newberry will show the Panthers’ postseason mettle

Some new coaches begin with a few, small changes when revamping a football program.

Not Jerry Brown.

In preparation for This season at Batesburg-Leesville, Brown smashed the mold.

“Pretty much, their football things have been turned upside down. We changed everything,” Brown said.

From spring practice through summer conditioning, the Panthers got a whole new look. Brown and the Batesburg-Leesville staff changed the way they drill on technique and fundamentals,

They changed the offense, the defense and special teams schemes.

But some key players remain, including Ricky Smith at tailback, Juawann Etheredge at halfback and Jac’quiel Chandler at quarterback.

In preseason matchups, that trio has helped the Panthers move the ball pretty well in their new flex-bone option system. They, like most of the players are adapting well to all the changes, Brown said.

“I think how we’re doing things now, they realize where a lot of their problems were last year,” he said. “We’ve definitely made some advancement and I feel good about it.”

With less than a dozen starters lost from last year’s squad, and mostly underclassmen on the roster this season, Brown is looking forward to making these lasting changes.

“It’s going to be a world of difference when they come back next season,” Brown said.

As for 2012, the Panthers are looking to improve upon last seasons’ 1-10, 1-4 mark.

“I can see some changes in them every week. We’re not where we want to be, but I can definitely see us headed in that direction,” Brown said.

They expect to be met with heavy resistance.

“Our schedule is probably one of the toughest in Class 2A,” Brown said. With all the Panthers’ non-conference games against 3A squads and five top-10 ranked opponents on their schedule, Brown knows the Panthers will be put through the wringer this season.

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