At the Palmetto State Showdown at Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C., on Friday and Saturday, the Lakeside Panthers football team accomplished what head coach Jarrett Troxler hoped to achieve.
The Panthers finished 4-5-1 in the 7-on-7 passing event, and while they didn’t finish as the champion, the young team came away with more experience.
“The kids accepted the challenge and they showed me something,” Troxler said. “It gave them reps they couldn’t get anywhere else. ... I watched them get better and they didn’t back down from anybody. It was good for them to see big-time football programs.”
The Panthers lost one of their contests 31-20 to Durham Hillside, but the game demonstrated why Troxler wanted his team in the competition.
“They had six Division I players out of the seven on the field,” Troxler said with a chuckle. “It’s why we went there.”
Lakeside’s highlight of the weekend came in the last game. Facing a North Gwinnett team that was 10-2 in 2011, sophomore B.J. Raymond caught a last-second pass and 2-point conversion to give the Panthers a 28-27 lead. The defense knocked down a final desperation pass to seal the win.
“It was the highlight of the whole competition,” Troxler said. “It capped off a great weekend.”
Troxler said Raymond and Jonathan Edwards were standouts on offense, while sophomore safety Rashad Roundtree was a defensive standout.