Published: Aug 17, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Aug 17, 2011 11:32 AM
Panther Creek made lifelong memories during the 2010 football season.
The Catamounts finished 13-2, which was impressive, but it was the way they did it that made the season memorable.
They beat nine teams with winning records, including six with nine or more wins.
They won six games by a touchdown or less.
They recorded one of the most impressive victories by an area team in recent years with a 35-32 win over a Fayetteville Seventy-First team that had lost only once.
And they advanced to the state semifinals.
Coach Wayne Bragg said he believed there would be some carry over this season.
"We got some confidence," he said. "A couple of years ago it seemed that we always lost the close game, but last year we learned to work hard and hang tough and find a way to win at the end. Confidence and learning to play hard to the end should help us this season."
The Catamounts lost much of the offensive firepower that helped them average 29.7 points per game. Running back Jonathan Douglas (1,752 yards) and quarterback Kameron Bryant (2,491 yards passing) have graduated.
But the Catamounts' offensive front has more than 80 starts combined. Tight end Dan Beilinson (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) is a standout and has committed to Duke. Beilinson and Jake Rorick will be three-year starters. Mike Sutton, Jeremy Plunkett and Ramsey Nasrallah return to interior blocking positions and center James Hartsfield played about half time at center.
"The offensive line should be the strength of our team," Bragg said.
Senior Jordan Jensen steps up at quarterback and there are several potential running backs, although some may end up starting on defense as well.
Five players, including defensive backs Matt Williams and Greg Garneau, are back on a unit that held six opponents to one touchdown or less and eight teams to two touchdowns or less.
The Catamounts' kicking game should be one of the area's best. Kicker Garrett Lang made 14 field goals last year.