Pigskin Preview: Hershey Panthers

HERSHEY, Neb. (KNOP)--- The Panthers wrapped up 2017 with a winning 6-4 record.
With a strong run game, Hershey saw a nice winning streak toward the middle of the season but ran into some tough defenses.

Coach Smith says they look good so far in practice but everything is circumstantial until it's live in a game situation.
Size wise- they're smaller than they were last year but have more guys out to help keep the team fresh.

They're happy to see 44 guys out this season; one of the most they've seen out in 20 years.

Senior offensive guard and middle linebacker Isaac Margritz said,
"Mostly every one that are starting, that are starters right now, they usually, they know what to do, like they've had the varsity experience."

Senior running back Caje Naranjo said, "Just keep facing those errors we make or whatever and move on, move forward from that. And that's why this team's good, that's what's special about it, is we'll always face adversity and keep moving forward."

Head coach Ryan Smith said, "I think we have a very difficult schedule. You know a lot of teams that have a good playoff history, a lot of teams that return a lot of players from a year ago. So a couple teams we played that didn't have winning records last year, return everybody. So they're going to be a lot better than they were. And then you know any time you play championship type programs, that's going to make it a struggle but I guess that's fun, that's why you want to play the game. You don't want to have a schedule that's like 'Oh I got 9 easy wins.' We want to get out, compete and have fun."

Hershey's first match of the season will be in Hastings at St. Cecilia.