Countdown to Kickoff 2022: Pascagoula Panthers

Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - In 2021, the Pascagoula Panthers put quite a few points on the board. This year, they aim to keep that high flying offense firing on all cylinders for all 48 minutes.

“You’ve got to start fast and you’ve got to finish,” said head coach Lewis Sims. “A couple of times last year we found ourselves in situations where we didn’t start as fast as we would like. That’s something we talked about in the off season. The other is just to finish games, we’ve got to learn to finish games. We spent a lot of time in the offseason working on the mental side, from the head up so our guys know where to go , know how to line up, and know what they’re supposed to do.”

The Panthers are bringing back seven starters on defense and six starters on offense including Mississippi State baseball commit Keilon Parnell.

He’s primarily been at quarterback in his time in a Panthers uniform, but this season he’s broadening his offensive horizons.

“As a quarterback you know every position but you have to work on every position. It doesn’t come easy, I don’t care who you are,” said Parnell. “Doing that in the offseason, running routes, playing DB, kick returning, it’s very important to me to learn. Being able to have endurance, I’ve got to be in shape more since I’m all around the world. I’m just focused on being able to help my team any way I can.

It’s not just the on the field skills the Panthers worked on in the offseason, it’s also the off the field leadership as more underclassmen move up through the ranks.

“You have guys coming over from the middle school and they look up to big guys like me,” said senior lineman Jeremy Flora. “They say ‘I want to be like Jerm’ they wanna be just like me so I can’t slack off and have to be the best version of myself I can be.”

For this year’s senior class, they’re getting ready for the last ride in Pascagoula, and they want to make sure it’s a good one.

“Watching all these guys, we grew up together and watched each other get offers and get better and play together, it’s huge,” said Flora.

“I feel amazing about them. We’ve been working hard ever since spring came,” said Parnell. “Class of 22-23 has something to prove.”

The Panthers open up the season with Moss Point.

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