After two weeks of quality spring practice, Daviess County High School football coach Matt Brannon couldn’t help but be excited about his team’s progress.
“We were able to do a lot of things,” said Brannon, whose Panthers have seen about 45 players take part in eight practice sessions. “We keep it very simple and try to have fun with it, but we were able to go through our entire racing package, our racing and 7v7 game and our passing concepts with most of our receivers and defensive backs. .
“I think these two weeks have been very productive.”
DC entered the spring after a 3-5 campaign in 2020, but the Panthers will benefit from the return of star quarterback Joe Humphreys, who led Class 6-A with 225 passing yards per game – finishing with 1,577 yards. , 21 touchdowns and five interceptions. . DC is also sacking running back Bryson Parm, who racked up 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.
Decker Renfrow (511 yards, nine TDs), Max Dees (311 yards, three TDs) and Carter Hamilton (304 yards, three TDs) will also be back.
While the Panthers will look to replace holes on the line with the departure of linemen Jon Nalley, Blake Henry and Zach Head, DC isn’t losing a single starting skills catcher to graduate by 2021.
“The grassroots group is back, and it’s exciting. They’ve grown, ”said Brannon, noting that 25 of his players didn’t do spring practice because they were already participating in other sports. “Most of these kids are multisport athletes, so they’ve been able to compete at a high level, whether it’s basketball, baseball or on the track, since the end of football.
“I’m a big supporter of multi-sport athletes, and I think it will pay off for us. Our skillful kids got to work on their athletic development, and once summer arrives, I’ll be happy to bring all of these guys together.
As the season unfolds, Brannon expects his offensive linemen to produce.
“We have some great shoes to fill out on the line, but I’m very happy with the growth and production in the spring,” said Brannon. “So that they can train with Parm behind them, this group is really starting to create some cohesion.”
DC excelled on offense in 2020, averaging over 41 points per game. On the defensive end, however, the Panthers gave up nearly 36 points per outing – a number that concerned DC coaching staff.
“For next season, I think defense is our biggest challenge,” Brannon said. “We had a poor year last year, defensively. Part of it was just the circumstances of being in my 40s and not being able to be together – we couldn’t go through normal development, but neither did anyone else. That’s not an excuse.
“We just never seemed to gel. This is going to be our goal this summer, but I have confidence in our players and coaches that we will find out.
More than anything, Brannon noted, was the importance of just breaking the monotony.
“For me the most beneficial part of spring football is breaking away from your routine of just lifting and running,” he said. “You are so far out of season that it becomes a routine of lifts and conditioning early in the morning. To be able to continue with that, but also to add football drills and to be able to talk more specifically about individual positions, it’s huge.
“Our kids love to work and they will do whatever they can to be the best version of themselves. I look forward to June when we can all get them together and get back to work. “