Panthers are poised to roar

Published on September 08, 2014 with No Comments

When Chafan Marsh took over the Milton High program in 2011, he inherited a team of 53 kids and a team that had lost a lot of talented players.

Now in 2014 that appears it is about to change.

“We lost so much talent with the Class of 2010 it has taken our program about four years to recover and regroup,” Marsh said. “Last year a lot of our guys played their first year of varsity action.

“Now we are back and ready to go.”

While Marsh noted the loss of talent, he is not passing it off as an excuse.

As he enters his fourth season at the helm of the Panthers, he has two playoff appearances under his belt which includes a district title in 2012.

Last season didn’t start off that great, but the three wins – against Pace, Escambia High, and Pine Forest – were enough to get the Panthers into the playoffs for the second straight year.

And that is where the Panthers’ experience comes in.

“Last year was a testament to the coaches and the young men on this team,” said Marsh of the seven game losing streak to start the season. “We’ve got a bit of experience coming back on both sides of the ball. We’ve got seven starters coming back on defense and three on offense.

“We want to run the ball better this year, but we also want to do a better job of stopping the running game of our opponents on defense.”

Marsh knows he has a tough schedule ahead with Crestview, Navarre, Ft. Walton, Navarre, and Catholic on the non-district part of the schedule, but Pensacola, Pace, Pine Forest, Escambia, and Washington will be a long road to travel if the Panthers want to make their third consecutive post season appearance.

“The district is going to be tough this year,” Marsh said. “Escambia will be tough again this year, while Pace returns one of the state’s top rushers (Quaide Weimerskirch). Then Pensacola High has 17 to 22 starters returning, Pine Forest just had an off year by missing the playoffs and Washington has a new coach in Charlie Ward.

“We are going to throw our hat in the ring and see what happens.”

For Milton to do well they are going to need some players to step up around signal caller Trevor Walters.

Walters took over the quarterbacking duties midway through the 2013 campaign and finished by completing 41 passes for 490 yards and four touchdowns.

What he will be missing is Andre Flakes, a freshman at Troy University, who rushed for 470 yards, registered 465 yards receiving, and accounted for four touchdowns.

Defensively the Panthers will be looking to D’Ondre Johns and Kyle Kaniper to be the leaders this season.

Their first true defensive test could happen in week in week one against the Crestview Bulldogs who has been very well known for their running offense.

2014 Milton High School Varsity Schedule

 

Date                      Opponent                           Time

Aug. 29                 at Crestview                       7 p.m.

Sept. 5                  WEST FLORIDA TECH       7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12                at Fort Walton Beach      7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19                PENSACOLA**                  7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26                at Navarre                           7:30 p.m.

Oct. 3                    at Washington**             7:30 p.m.

Oct. 10                  CATHOLIC                            7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17                  at Escambia**                   7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24                  PINE FOREST**                 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 31                  PACE**                                 7:30 p.m.

 

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