Panthers on track heading into season opener

PLYMOUTH – Dan Knaus, Plymouth head football coach, is pleased with the progress of the Panthers as they gear up for their season opener.

“This is a great group of players that have been working very hard and improving day by day thus far,” said Knaus.

The Panthers participated in a four-team scrimmage Friday, hosted by Oshkosh North, at UW-Oshkosh’s Titan Stadium. Knaus came away from the scrimmage with an upbeat feeling about his squad.

“We had a very productive scrimmage. We accomplished everything we intended,” he said.

“We got a lot of kids live action, came out healthy and played very physical football.”

The Panthers will kick off their season Friday at home against Kenosha Indian Trails at 7 p.m.

“They are a very solid Division 1 school, and our goal this week is to be 1-0,” Knaus said.

“I think one of the bright spots so far is that our running game has looked very solid with the loss of the entire backfield [except quarterback] from last season.”

The Panthers return about half of their starters from last year’s outstanding team which won the Eastern Wisconsin Conference with a 7-0 record and finished 10-1 overall. PHS advanced to the Division 3 state quarterfinals which was the school’s deepest run in the playoffs since 1978.

PHS returns four All-EWC first-team players in senior quarterback Kollin Neils, senior offensive linemen Luke Held and Zach Bradley, and senior defensive end Westley Meinnert.

Neils had an impressive 2012 season passing with 1,584 yards and 16 touchdowns with a 63.5 completion percentage. Neils is the Panthers’ career leader in passing yardage with 3,177.

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