Playoffs a good possibility again for New Lexington in 2007


New Lexington Panthers
New Lexington will be looking to qualify for the postseason for the fifth time since 2000 when the Panthers take the field in 2007. But New Lexington will be without star RB Travis Cook, a first-team team All-Ohio selection. Will Hicks is next line to take over the RB duties.

LB Josh Conrad (6-1, 245, Sr.); TE/DE Alex Howdyshell (6-1, 225, Sr.), QB/DE Bryant Folk (6-3, 120, Sr.), FB/DB R.J. Starkey (5-8, 190, Jr.), OL/DT Chris Spencer (5-11, 205,Sr.), DB Brett Wycinski (6-0, 170, Jr.), OL/LB Kevin Wolfe (5-8, 170, Jr.), RB Will Hicks (5-8, 171, Sr.), WR/DB Cory Chapman (5-10, 160, Sr.)

2006 Record: 12-1

New Lexington will be looking to qualify for the postseason for the fifth time since 2000 when the Panthers take the field in 2007.

But New Lexington will be taking the field without some of the key players that led the team to the playoffs each of the last two years. RB Travis Cook, who was named the Southeastern District Player of the Year and was a 1st team All-Ohio selection, and DB Jerry Robinson, another All-Ohio 1st teamer, are just two of about a dozen seniors the Panthers lost to graduation.

“We have lost great backs before,” said head coach Bill Nutt. “But Rather than sitting around and hanging our heads, we’ll just have to insert somebody else.”

Hicks is next line to take over the running back duties, according to Nutt.

“Will Hicks, who was a special teams star last year will take over the duties at running back. He’s a good back and we’ll be fine there. We have a good group of seniors and other young men that started last year,” he said.

Hollingshead and Chapman both have starting experience and Nutt is looking forward to having them back on the field again.

Up front, Conrad stars on both sides of the ball for New Lexington.

“He is a very good center and is going to anchor our offensive line and plays defensive line and mike linebacker,” said Nutt. “He is a very important part of stopping the run. He is a very key player, he is running well, doing all the things he needs to do and will be one of our leaders.”

Also blocking for Hicks in the Panthers option attack will be Starkey. When called on, he carried the ball well last year as well tallying about 700 yards and six touchdowns. Nutt is also excited about Starkey at the linebacker position.

Spencer has showed well in the off season clocking a 4.6 forty at the Southeastern Ohio Premier Combine.

“He is very quick and a very good defensive lineman. Played guard last year on offense and we are going to move him to tackle,” said Nutt.

So, despite the loss of some key players to graduation, New Lexington is looking to be competitive again this season with some talented players stepping into those bigger roles.

“We can put people in. I am not concerned about personnel,” said Nutt. “What you have to concern yourself with is team chemistry with the guys coming in and coming together as a team. Right now, the chemistry is fine but we’re not on the field yet. Workouts are going well, the kids are working hard in the weight room and they are doing the things they need to do and we are progressing the way we need to progress. It just has to continue.

“We may have a bumpy start and we don’t have a whole lot of room to coast, that’s for sure,” he added. “But from what I have seen, it is a tough group of kids – they are mentally tough.

“We have a lot of work to do but we’ll be alright.”


New Lexington
2007 Schedule

Date Opponent Division
8/24/2007 Fairfield Union 3
8/31/2007 @ West Muskingum 4
9/7/2007 @ Philo 3
9/14/2007 McConnelsville Morgan 3
9/21/2007 @ Maysville 4
9/28/2007 @ Crooksville 5
10/5/2007 Columbus Bishop Hartley 4
10/12/2007 @ New Concord John Glenn 3
10/19/2007 Dresden Tri-Valley 2
10/26/2007 Thornville Sheridan 3

* Muskingum Valley League games in bold


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