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Panthers off to shaky start

Posted by rc360 on November 5, 2009

(Note:  Story also published in Express print newspaper.  Story written by Express Editior in Chief Christopher Geanakos.  I contributed to this article by creating the headline, subhead and contributing quote by Kevin Johnston.)

With the leave of absence taken by Panthers head football coach Mike Clemens, 32-year-old Dannie Walker has stepped up as interim head coach. Under his tutelage he Panthers have started the fall season with two losses.

“Even though we lost our first two games,” said linebacker Freddy Ve’evalu, “all we can do is learn from our mistakes and be prepared for our next opponent.”

The Panthers lost in their first game against defending national champion Butte College 53-28 Sept. 7. Butte College won last year’s California Community College Athletic Association State Championship as well as the JCGridiron.com National Championship.

Following their first week’s loss, the Panthers faced Sierra College Sept. 11 in their first home game of the season and lost 48-26. (see coverage from this game here)

“Our defensive backfield didn’t do so well,” free safety Kevin Johnston said, who had a late game interception for a touchdown. “I was hoping for a little bit more from them, but all and all I think we did OK. We just made a few mistakes.”

Walker believes that though some key mistakes were made during the game, a lot of good things were accomplished.

“The coaching staff push us to our full potential and expect hard work everyday,” said Ve’evalu. “They say to us ‘how you practice is how you play’.”

The Panthers will look to get their first win Sept. 19 when Shasta College Knights (1-1) roll into Hughes Stadium.

Click here to see the story on the Express website.

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