Although most overlook junior varsity football, students believe people should think twice before passing up a chance to see Lecanto High School’s undefeated Junior Varsity Football team.
LHS’ JV team has proven they are a driving force to be reckoned with, by improving their season record to 4-0 Tuesday, October 4, with a 28-0 victory over the Citrus High School Hurricanes.
Head coach McKinley Rolle had no trouble praising the team for their performance on the field.
“They did really well. They played hard, fast and physical. It’s always nice to beat Citrus, and I think it was a good rebound after varsity’s loss,” Rolle said.
The Panthers defense continues to dominate their opponents game after game, by allowing a total of only 6 points their whole season.
Sophomore Frankie Bartley led the team in tackles, with the help of the rest of the Panther’s defense, including a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown return by Sophomore Christopher Ewing. Ewing’s touchdown was the second defensive touchdown of the season. Dmitry Growden was also a large factor in the Panthers’ defense by making numerous tackles throughout the game and receiving an interception.
Known for his defensive plays, Ewing is looking forward to future seasons as a Lecanto Panther.
“I think ‘new’ Lecanto played great [Tuesday] night. You can expect to see the same thing in years to come,” Ewing said.
Even though the Panthers’ defense has been the base of their great season, their offense should not be left out of the spotlight. The Panthers’ offense has scored a season total of 154 points and an average of about 38 points per game. Freshman Seth Kelly had an 80 yard rushing touchdown, after breaking through the Hurricanes’ defense to add onto the Panther’s whopping 28-0 lead.
Before the game, sophomore Deandre Horton had optimistic words to say.
“We have a way better team than Citrus,” said Horton. “Citrus better be ready to play their hardest, ‘cause we’re coming out with all we’ve got.”
This team is very successful, but Bartley thinks it is the relationship the team has with each other that helps them towards success.
“This team I play for right now is the best team I’ve ever played for. We have the best team chemistry I have ever experienced playing football, and I love my coaches. If it wasn’t for them pushing my team and myself so hard, I don’t think we would be where we are today,” said Bartley.