Le-Win Panthers Ready To Show Their Power

Sports

The Panthers went 10-1 last season. Their only loss was in the second round of the playoffs. It was their 17th straight season in the playoffs…a model of consistency that’s almost unequaled.

“I can’t really explain it. It’s been going a long time it seems like and I think it, it’s not even something we talk about,” says Le-Win coach Ric Arand.

People could be talking about the Panthers a lot this season. They’ll again be one of the top teams in the NUIC if not the state.

“At this point I don’t know how good we’re going to be but we’re athletic,” says Arand.

The most athletic Panther of all is three-sport standout and lead running back Rahveion Valentine. He was limited to only 27 carries last year before a broken ankle ended his season. He’s ready to go now and he’s thicker and stronger after adding 30 pounds of bulk.

“I definitely got bigger,” says Valentine. “I went to the weight room and that helped me get bigger, so I definitely got thicker.”  Valentine says the added weight hasn’t slowed him down.

“No definitely not. I’m actually a little faster.”

The Panthers stable of backs Valentine, Payden Lingle, Bailey Litow and Gaige Schwartz is fast enough to form a good relay team. In fact three of them were on Le-Win’s 4X100 team that went to state in track.

Returning quarterback Tanner Lawfer will be spreading the ball around to that bunch. Lawfer ran the offense all of last season after starting quarterback Joe Robinson went down at the start of the season with an injury.
Now running the offense is old hat for Lawfer.

“It just kind of progressed,” says Lawfer. “It started out (last year) just running basic stuff every week, and then we just kept building it up. Now it’s just like I’ve done it every single day.”

“It’s tough to argue with him being 10-1 as a starter,”says Arand. “By the same token if we put Tanner anywhere else on the field he would be the best player at his position on our team.”

The Panthers appear to be set in the trenches too with size and athleticism in guys like Brock Fransen, Kenny Broge, Noah Hillman, Parker McGee, Jake Diddens, and Ian Kuehl.


 

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