Coach: Jarrett Troxler
Offensive Coordinator: Josh Ingram
Defensive Coordinator: Jarrett Troxler
Last year: 5-6, 4-3; First round of the GHSA Class AAAAA State Football Playoffs
Key returners: Hunter Banks, SR-QB, Jonathan Edwards, SR-RB; Rashad Roundtree, JR-FS; Kendall White, SR-DE, BJ Raymond, JR-WR.
(Games at 7:30 p.m.)
8/30: at Statesboro
9/06: vs. Thomson
9/20: vs. Westside, Augusta
9/27: at Northside, Warner Robins
10/4: at Grovetown
10/11: vs. Houston County
10/18: vs. Greenbrier (TV)
10/25: at Jones County
11/1: at Evans
11/8: vs. Warner Robins
A year after making the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA playoffs with a fairly young team, the Lakeside Panthers are back looking for more.
“Last year we were worried to death because we had a bunch of sophomores that we had to play, and playing who we played,” said head coach Jarrett Troxler. “We played a lot of close games and luckily won a couple of them that got us in the state playoffs. We always say stay humble and that’s our big motto, we have it up in our weight room. Stay humble and work hard and don’t worry about expectations and confidence. Just be humble and get better.”
Troxler said that he was encouraged with the experience level of his returners and the maturation of his younger players.
Running Troxler’s up-tempo, high-octane offense will be senior quarterback Hunter Banks, who hurt his knee in the team’s second game against Thomson. He returned and threw for more than 1,000 yards and five touchdowns.
“I’m expecting a lot of myself,” said Banks, who will play the 2013 season wearing a knee brace. “I think we’re going to come back strong this year. We’ve got a lot of guys returning. Everybody is a year better. It doesn’t hurt being older than we were last year.”
It also doesn’t hurt Banks that he has a multipurpose player to look for like senior Jonathan Edwards, who caught 46 passes for 615 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 437 yards and three more scores.
“We think he’s going to have a great year. He’s already got some I-AA offers,” said Troxler of Edwards. “He’s a very explosive player for us. Last year he had a lot of games where he had 70-yard-plus touchdown runs. We’re excited about him.”
On e of Banks’ main targets will be junior wideout BJ Raymond, who caught 29 passes for 406 yards and two scores in 2012.
“BJ Raymond is going to be an explosive receiver for us. I’m looking forward to that,” Troxler said.
Defensively, the Panthers will have heralded junior free safety Rashad Roundtree, who had 72 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered one. Roundtree was confident that the team – and the defense specifically – could be something special.
Senior defensive end Kendall White (61 tackles, 2 sacks) is another player Troxler expects big things from.
Troxler hopes the season will be a special one for the team, but he isn’t letting anyone get ahead of themselves.
“If that all equates to wins, I don’t know,” Troxler said. “We take it day-by-day. I sell that to our players and let’s worry about today and then three weeks from now will take care of itself.”