Pigskin Peek: Panthers set to reach next level in 2016

cffoot-21runIn the first two years of Marc Morris’ rebuilding project at Carolina Forest, the foundation was laid and the transition was made from league laughing stock to playoff team. This season, the Panthers are ready to take it to the next level.

After going 5-7 overall and 3-2 in Region 6-4A play last season, Carolina Forest qualified for the playoffs and lost to state power Goose Creek in the first round by a respectable 39-27 score. This year the Panthers move up to Class 5A – along with all the other members of the region. Morris is well aware of what they face and expects his team to more than ready for the challenge.

“The 5A thing is no big deal to us because it is the same region we were in last season. We are in a great conference. Sumter and Conway were two really good football teams, and they are going to be really good this year,” Morris said. “South Florence and West Florence both do a good job, and Coach Illing does a good job at Socastee. You don’t go in each week without your hat turned right and ready to go.”

The Panthers have some serious offensive weapons to compete for a region title. Running back Dyverse Simmons, one of the leading rushers in the area, comes back from last year at tailback, and Matt Beale is back at quarterback with a slew of receivers at his command, such as Ismael Garcia, Damon McDowell and Freddie Kane. Dean Duncan looks to be a role in center, while Tyler Marchese should add another dimension to the offense at tight end and wide receiver.

“We’ve had a good summer, and a good first of the year, and I thought that our first scrimmages went well. Our kids played hard. The thing about the summer time is that with practice, they are going to get better,” Morris said. “Now in August, we are trying to get better and hopefully make the playoffs. We want to be playing our best football by the end of the year, so we have long, long road ahead of us. So far, the kids have done a great job.”

The Panthers return only three starters back on defense from last season. David Benson will be called upon to help lead the defensive line. Morris commented on the fact that even with a number of returners, there should be a good mixture of youth and experience within the starters.

“I am not going to say that we have a veteran group because we have some guys plugging in off of an 8-1 junior varsity team, but they have to step up and play some Friday night football,” Morris added. “We expect a lot out of our guys. We are looking to guys to step into those roles. We expect our regular guys coming back to even have bigger roles this year.”

The Panthers were impressive in Friday’s CNB Kickoff Classic appearance, a 28-0 victory over Class 3A Waccamaw, but face a much tougher task in their season opener at Fairmont (NC) on Aug. 19.

Photo by Joel Beachum

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to winsA year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights [more]

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame induction

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame inductionCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore will be inducted [more]

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady Patriot

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady PatriotThe Carolina Forest and St. James girls golf team made [more]

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl Horry County has had an on-again, mostly off-again relationship with [more]

Chants do it with defense for second straight week

Chants do it with defense for second straight weekNot even a 44-minute lightning delay midway through the third [more]

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeateds

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeatedsJon "JJ" Jones returned to his old stomping grounds at [more]

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat Braves

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat BravesSt. James traveled to Prestwick Country Club on Wednesday to [more]

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyball

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyballThe reigning Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach High [more]

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former school

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former schoolMyrtle Beach football player J.J. Jones has been cleared to [more]

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loop

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loopDespite Hurricane Dorian costing Horry County Schools a week of [more]

Chants capture historic victory over Jayhawks

Chants capture historic victory over JayhawksCoastal Carolina football recorded its first-ever win over a Power [more]

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls Like it did after last year’s state championship games, Horry [more]

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports schedule

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports scheduleHurricane Dorian is not expected to make landfall on the [more]

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup title

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup titleCoach R.J. Bass wanted a strong early test for his [more]

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers opened their season the same way [more]

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openers

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openersTommy Norwood tried to nix the Gatorade bath. He raised [more]

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootout

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootoutWilliam Welch (West Islip, N.Y.) shot a net 69 (gross [more]

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-match

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-matchThe Carolina Forest girls golf team made a strong showing [more]

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by Warriors

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by WarriorsThe Palmetto State made a strong showing in the Border [more]

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World Am

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World AmBeautiful weather greeted the 3,215 golfers participating in the 36th [more]

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champs

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champsTwo Coast FA boys teams returned home as champions from [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to winsA year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights [more]

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach