Panthers expect to be rewarded after last season

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Superior Sun

The 2013 season was difficult for everyone associated with the Panthers football program. Head coach Ryan Palmer was forced to play one of the most difficult schedules in any division with a varsity roster filled with freshmen. The Panthers expect to reap the rewards from last years’ experience in 2014.

Make no mistake, Palmer isn’t complaining. The group of freshmen he had last year may turn out to be one of the most talented groups of student-athletes to ever play at Superior High School. He knew last year would be tough but always kept an eye toward the future.

“Experience is a great attribute,” Palmer told the Superior Sun. “Everyone on this team has played in a varsity football game, except for two freshmen. I’m sure that experience is going to be very helpful throughout this season.”

Multi-sport athlete Gage Cruz returns at quarterback for the Panthers. He was impressive in his first varsity season, proving be among the most dynamic players in the state in any division. He combines arm-strength, speed, and mobility to make plays for the Panthers’ offense. Running backs Edgar Pacheco, Michael Salazar, and wide receivers Matthew Zavala and Austin Navarrette give Cruz a number of playmakers to get the ball to.

The defensive unit needs to show the most improvement in order for the Panthers to truly flip the page on last season and they should. Linebackers Marcus Hiracheta, Zavala, and Pacheco have the speed and strength to make plays anywhere on the field. Senior defensive lineman Richard Ochoa is expected to have the best season of his career.

Fifteen players return in 2014, anxious to improve on last season’s 1 – 7 record. Staying healthy is always important to a team’s success. In addition, the Panthers need to remain disciplined and determined in order to achieve their goals, according to Palmer.

The Panthers open their season this week, on Friday, August 22, 2014 at Duncan. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Andy Luberda (873 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Holy Graphic Novels, Batman! There’s a new comic book store in Superior!

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      Jessie Ybarra and Laura Rivas have opened Superior’s first comic book store—Superior Superhero Stuff. The sisters were born and raised […]


    Augie Hing named HOBY representative

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      Sophomore Augie Hing has been selected to represent Superior High School in the HOBY State Leadership Seminar. The HOBY (Hugh […]


    Former Miners compete at UA’s Willie Williams Track & Field Classic

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      Former Miner track and field athletes Cita Sweeney and Wayne Newman kicked off their 2017 College Outdoor track season competing […]


    Find out the buzz on buzzards at the Arboretum

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

    Superior – One sure sign of Spring’s return is the revisitation of the seasonal flock of Turkey Vultures at the […]


  • Additional Stories

    Panthers extend winning streak with pair of wins

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      The Superior baseball team extended its winning streak to four games and improved its overall record to 7 – 2 […]


    Lady Miners’ Baldenegro does it all in win against Desert Christian

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      Lady Miners’ junior Nikki Baldenegro starred at the plate and picked up the win on the mound in her team’s […]


    San Manuel swimmers compete at State Championship Meet

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      The Arizona  Age Group State Championship Swim Meet was held March 9-12 at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center.   Johnny […]


    Defending champs Lady Bearcats making it look easy

    March 23rd, 2017
    by

      The defending Division V State Champion Ray softball team has bounced back nicely from its only loss with a pair […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger