LEWISBURG — Tri-County North football is coming off a banner season – one that will be hard to trump. But that doesn’t mean the Panthers aren’t going to try.
“The kids have a very positive outlook and have worked extremely hard in the off season to try to match last season’s success,” said head coach Bill Derringer.
North ran the table during the regular season, finishing 9-0, and winning a playoff game for the first time in school history. They also secured a Cross County Conference championship for the first time since 1994.
Matching that success will not be easy, however, as they lost a huge senior class, anchored by Colton Booth and Blake Lawson.
Booth was awarded first team All-Ohio and the Southwestern District Defensive Player of the Year honors for Division VI while Lawson was the 2015 Anthony Munoz Foundation Defensive Lineman of the Year for Division VI.
But they still maintain a strong senior class, returning first team All-CCC running back Garrett Woodyard, who finished with 14 touchdowns last year and has been named one of the top 22 players to watch in the Dayton-area by Fox 45.
Other key seniors returning are linemen Jordan Overcash and Kyle Sykes as well as running back Logan Elmore. Tanner Booth, a junior guard, is also still on the squad.
“I believe that the strength of our team this year will be our offensive line, which has both starting guards and one tackle back from last year’s undefeated team. Also our new starting linemen should be players that were key subs last year with much experience,” said Derringer.
Lane Gunder is also expected to replace Booth behind center this season.
Gunder competed for the starting role in preseason last year and has a very strong arm and is an accurate passer, said Derringer.
Several newcomers will help comprise this year’s team as well. Seniors Anthony Duncan, Gavin Overholts, Brandon Via, Josh McIntosh, Kyle Miller and Colton Scott will be looked at to be key contributors during the season. They will be helped by juniors Zack Edgin and Trey Kehr as well as sophomores Chandler Sproles and Dakota Dixon.
North opens their season up on the road against Brookville on Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH