2013 - Sale Creek Panthers

2013 - Sale Creek Panthers

August 16th, 2013 by Stephen Hargis in Sports - Preps

Marion County coach Mac McCurry will be looking to build on the Warriors' solid 9-3 season in 2012.

Marion County coach Mac McCurry will be looking...

Sale Creek Panthers

Coach: Ron Cox ( first year)

Last year: This is first varsity season

'13 dreams: The Panthers opted to go ahead and begin playing a varsity schedule this year, which is a tall task in a district that includes multiple state championship programs Marion County and South Pittsburg as well as Lookout Valley, which has reached the playoffs seven of the last eight years. But Cox is using the low expectations as a way to build a chip on his players' shoulders and inspire them. The Panthers have enough athletic ability and several winnable games to build confidence for a memorable first season.

13-for-13 contenders: Junior quarterback Cody Heard will lead the flexbone offense and oversee the secondary from his free safety position. He is the best athlete on the team and likely will have as many carries running the option as any of his backfield mates. Both backup quarterbacks are freshmen, so keeping Heard healthy is a top priority. Seniors Cody Daniel and Tyler Anderson will share running back and linebacker duties along with Dylan Johnson, and junior Vince Roddy will anchor the 3-5 defensive alignment at noseguard. Senior Nathan Wright will start on both sides of the line.

Number of interest: 0. The number of players on the Panthers' 29-player roster who have played in a varsity high school game. Most of the Panthers haven't played since eighth grade.

1-through-3: Junior quarterback Cody Heard

Q. How do you feel going into this first season with the program?

A. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I mean, I'm excited to be a part of the school's first varsity team and see how we can do against other teams. But I'm nervous, too, because we're playing some pretty tough teams and we don't really know how we're going to do. I'm sure there's several teams that look at us as an easy win, but I think we can surprise some people.

Q. You guys will play your four home games at Finley Stadium and have another game against Monterey that will be played at Tennessee Tech. How excited are you to get to play so many games in college stadiums?

A. That's really cool. Everybody is excited to play in big stadiums like that. I don't think there are any other teams that will get to play so many games at college stadiums on turf fields. We have some early games against smaller teams similar to us, so if we can have success against them, we'll get some momentum and that will help us against the tougher teams we play.

Q. How do you see your role on this first team?

A. I'm going to do my best to be a leader and motivate the other guys. None of us have played varsity games, but we remember what it was like to play just a few years ago, and me being the quarterback, I know I need to step up and be a leader and help us gain some confidence.

2013 Schedule

Aug. 23 at Oakdale

Aug. 30 at Red Boiling Springs

Sep. 6 South Pittsburg*

Sep. 13 Meigs County

Sep. 27 at Tellico Plains

Oct. 4 at Marion County*, 8

Oct. 11 Grace Baptist Academy

Oct. 18 Whitwell*

Oct. 25 at Monterey

Nov. 1 at Lookout Valley*

  • District 6-A game

2012 Stats N/A


No. Name Class

1 Drake Steele Sophomore

2 Jeb Hart Freshman

3 Casey Duncan Junior

7 Cody Heard Junior

9 Trey Borders Freshman

10 Garrett Knight Freshman

14 Zeke Davis Senior

16 Jarod McGhee Freshman

17 Cameron Kirk Freshman

22 Keylon Hickey Freshman

23 Cain Linder Freshman

24 Cody Daniel Senior

26 Vince Roddy Junior

32 Dylan Johnson Junior

42 Tyler Anderson Senior

46 Taylor Painter Junior

53 Mathew Allison Junior

55 Juliah Capehart Sophomore

57 Dakota Gentry Junior

58 Gary Keylon Sophomore

61 Nathan Wright Senior

67 Zach Howard Sophomore

68 Daniel Hutchings Sophomore

70 Jace Terry Sophomore

71 Jared Poland Freshman

72 Thomas Smith Freshman

75 John Sluder Sophomore

80 Blake Redden Freshman

81 Drew Newsom Freshman

Manager: Billy Hanley Sophomore

Head coach: Ron Cox

Assistant coaches: Roy Shipley, Micah Hughes, Rickey Gilley, Tony Reavley, Justin Pugh, Chris Ellis.