Following a historic season in which the program grabbed its third district championship in program history, Daviess County football is looking to fill in and return as major competitors in 2022.
The Panthers were a force to be reckoned with across the Commonwealth last season, finishing with an 11-2 overall record. Daviess County’s success from the regular season carried them deep into the postseason as well, winning a district championship before ultimately falling in the third round of the playoffs to the state powerhouse in St. Xavier.
Daviess County will have a lot of retooling to do, as they will be without star quarterback Joe Humphreys who averaged nearly seven total touchdowns a game, as well as key senior wide receivers in Isaiah Tomes, Carter Hamilton and Max Dees. However, the Panthers won’t have to look too hard to attempt to.
Senior Decker Renfrow returns to the roster having led the team with 10 touchdown receptions last season, along with his average of 81.8 yards per game. Luke Floyd and tight end Cole Burch will also return looking to get more touches this season, while newcomers Russ Crowe and Luke Hagedorn are someone Head Coach Matt Brannon sees as potential contributors this season.
In the backfield the Panthers hope to have a healthy senior in Bryson Parm, who missed the majority of the 2021 but has been a key contributor to the program when able to stay on the field. As far as who’s under center, Daviess County has senior Jack Ball and junior Lake Wilson on the roster.
The duo will also have plenty of protection, with the vast majority of their offensive line coming back. This includes four of the five from a season ago, such as Preston Crosley, Isaac Blue, Braden Boling, and Miles Miller.
The two quarterbacks will also be spending time on the defensive side, as Jack Ball will be an outside linebacker next to key inside linebacker Isaac Blue while Wilson will be in the Panthers secondary.
These two will be key facets in the rebuilding of their secondary, as the biggest hit they took because of graduation was their defensive secondary. However, Brannon said that they have Renfrow playing safety to give them great range at the free safety spot, but just need to create depth in our defensive secondary.
“Russ Crowe has emerged as one of our top DBs with a great off-season and pre-season 7v7 so far,” Brannon said. “Lake Wilson, Luke Hagedorn, Connor White, Gatlin Maysey all have shown promise of being effective in our defensive backfield, and we look for them to continue to progress.”
While the roster may seem fastly different from a year ago, Brannon feels as if they can pick up where we left off. Brannon said that they may not be as flashy and high scoring, but we have the bones of a really good high school football team.
“Our defensive front is our strong point of our defense and the goal is to be stout against the run,” Brannon said. “Having four out of five returning offensive lineman, a talented tight end in Burch and a dynamic running back like Parm with dynamic wide receivers like Renfrow and Floyd, we feel like we should compete to win every game that we are in.”
In order to utilize this roster to the best of its ability, Brannon said that they must stay healthy and avoid major injuries. Of course schematically Brannon says they will be a bit different this year, wanting to control the pace of the game as opposed to an uptempo game.
“This year, we must be more controlled and efficient,” Brannon said. “Our run game with Parm and Ball will be our strength, but we have to find ways to get the ball in Renfrow and Floyds hands. Both are proven playmakers, and they will be able to keep defenses off balanced.”
The Panthers will get their first chance to grab a win, starting with a district matchup against Owensboro Catholic on the road at 7 p.m.