BIGELOW: Panthers working to get back to playoffs

Conference: 5-2A
Coach: Jeff Starks
’16 Record: 3-7

The Bigelow Panthers started 2016 off on the right foot with a win over cross-county nemesis Perryville, but injuries and a tough 5-2A conference derailed the good feelings from there.

Brady Reed is back at quarterback this season. The junior led the Bigelow offense down the stretch in 2016, helping pull off a win against Cutter Morning Star, 20-14. Junior Ricky Dunlap joins Reed in the backfield at running back, alongside senior Johnny Ussery. Junior Colby Miller plays fullback in Bigelow’s Wing T offense. Senior Brett Mumford and junior Addison Brown are the top receiving threats for the Panthers. Senior Hunter Jones leads the offensive line.

“We lost our offensive coordinator, Matt Chandler, to Cedarville this year, so we will have to adjust some things offensively,” Coach Jeff Starks said. “We need the offensive line to step up and play big if we are going to compete for a conference title.”

Seniors Jones and Noah McCollum and junior Sam Battieste will lead the defensive line. Senior Weston Blair, junior Aaron Harmon and Ussery bring experience to the linebacker corps. Reed and Dunlap return in the secondary.

“Defensively, we expect to be aggressive and fly to the football,” Starks said.