After years of being a door mat for the rest of the state, the Polytech Panthers’ football program had a re-birth of sorts in 2013 going 5-5 on the year. In 2014, the Panthers hope to take another step forward under Head Coach Kevin Smith who has helped make Polytech a team to be reckoned with.

Even though the Panthers did not qualify for the playoffs in 2013, they were easily one of the surprise teams in the state. While they’ll lose the production from players such as Kevin Forsyth (RB/LB), Kyle Hyde (WR/DB), Anwar Marshall (WR), and Jonathon Green (WR), the Panthers have some returning talent ready to take over.

Polytech will have a shakeup behind center as last year’s quarterback, senior Alex Winchester, moves to wide receiver. Junior tight end Jason Rigby moves to quarterback alongside freshman Jared Waggenhoffer to compete for the starting job. In the backfield, senior Gabe Brown will get the chance to replace Forsyth, while senior Brennan Weber will pair with Winchester at wide-out.

Returning seniors Mark Mullnack, Elliott Outten, Derek Reigle, and John Pierce will once again man the offensive line, while playing roles on the defensive end on the line and at linebacker.

Along with their returnees, the Panthers have a large number of newcomers ready to make an impact in 2014. Some Panthers new to the fold this season include seniors Jordan Booth (RB/LB) and Kody Stevens (WR/DB), along with juniors Robby D’Agostino (OL/DT), Liam Brodin (OL/DT), Alex Johnson (OL/DE), and Logan Cluff (TE/DE).

The Panthers hope to build off their success from last season, but know with success comes expectations. To take another step forward in the growth of the program they’ll need a strong effort each week.

“Being our first season as a staff, we were very excited last year with a five win season,” said Polytech Head Coach Kevin Smith. “We felt that we left a couple wins out on the field, so we want to make sure we finish each game strong.”