Panthers kick off season on Aug. 30
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
The Pelham High School football team will face its first game of the season on Aug. 30, and will rely on plenty of new faces to help it navigate through Class 6A, Region 4 play.
Leading the Panthers at quarterback this year will be senior Devon Mines, who has seen play the past two years as the team’s backup quarterback.
Though this is Mines’ first year as starter, he has a knowledge of the team’s offense, and is a potent running threat. Mines racked up 111 yards on 12 carries in the Panthers’ spring game.
Junior Moregan Sharp and seniors Robert Hayes and Shun Bishop will provide a stable of running back talent to help replace last year’s offensive star, Eli Beall, who has graduated.
R.J. McCall will look to continue the success at wide receiver he started during the Panthers’ spring game, and senior Coryghan Hunter will join juniors Spencer Wilson, Matt Gonzalaz and Jadie Patterson to anchor Pelham’s offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball, coaches are looking for big things from linemen Braxton Hoyett, Grant Wadsworth, Chris Shiftlett and Austin Barclay.
The Panthers’ linebacker corps bring the most returning talent this year, with seniors D.J. Ervin, Josh Brasher and Christian Davis all returning.
Head coach Brett Burnett will have to replace the team’s entire secondary, with Blake Dunaway, Terrell Blevins, Jeremy Ross and Bishop looking to make their mark on the program.
Following the graduation of John Perko last year, Austin Bowen will take over all the Panthers’ kicking duties this season.
After visiting Tuscaloosa County for a jamboree game on Aug. 23, Pelham will kick off the season at home on Aug. 30 against Paul Bryant. The Panthers’ first region game will be Sept. 6 at home against Stanhope Elmore, followed by road tests at rival Thompson on Sept. 13 and at Oak Mountain on Sept. 20.
Pelham will return home to face Northridge on Sept. 27 and will face back-to-back road region games at Wetumpka and Prattville on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, respectively. The Panthers will return home Oct. 18 and Oct 25 for region games against Chelsea and Spain Park before traveling to Shades Valley on Nov. 1 to end the regular season.