Panthers enter 2013 with new faces but plenty of promise

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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It’s never mattered who played quarterback, or who played running back, or who was the go-to wide receiver for the Colleyville Heritage football team.

The constant with Mike Fuller’s turbo spread offense is that it is designed to fit whoever is occupying those positions. However, you can say that the turbo was at its best in 2012, when Cody Thomas was at quarterback, Kaelin Deboskie played wide receiver and Connor Davis lined up at running back. That trio was pretty good, as the Panthers went 11-2 and produced more than 5,800 total offensive yards.

With those three either graduated or transferred (Deboskie moved back to Arizona), the new occupants are Griffin Pickler at quarterback, Demarco Corbin at running back and several worthy candidates at wide receiver, led by Brett Bofinger.

The Panthers are in a bit of a rebuilding mode, but that’s because most people don’t really know those names like Fuller and his staff know them. Still, it can be considered rebuilding because the 2012 team lost 44 seniors. Regardless, Fuller has a program going because other players step up.

“Griffin’s first four days [of fall camp] were the best four days I’ve ever seen him throw,” Fuller said. “It was the deep ball, throwing the ball on a line to where it needed to go to the touch. Those are the things you want to see.”

Pickler has always been known for his arm strength. However, the one to watch could be Corbin. He’s become more rock solid at 6-1, 205 – that’s the size that attracts Division I program. And they are asking about him.

Corbin averaged more than five yards per rush and 13 yards per reception and could be the glue to make this offense even more effective.

Like it has every year, the Panthers will challenge Euless Trinity for the District 6-5A championship. They have yet to beat the Trojans. This year’s meeting will be at Bedford’s Pennington Field.

“We can’t change our goals or expectations,” Fuller said. “To be good in our offense, it takes a lot of reps. Our kids are getting more and more comfortable. They’ve come a long way.”

2013 Panthers

Coach: Mike Fuller (7th season)

2012: 11-2 (6-1 in 6-5A) lost to Waco Midway, 54-44, in Class 5A Division II Region I area playoff

Returning starters: 3 offense, 3 defense

Key returners: QB Griffin Pickler, WR, Demarco Corbin, WR Brett Bofinger, FS Jacob Sisk, S Ryan Phillippe, DE Isaac Lee

Notable: Fuller has taken CHHS to the playoffs in all six of his seasons and past the bi-district round in two of the last three … Lee is the only defensive front line player with the most experience returning. But he’s actually stronger and leaner by design because he can flex out and play linebacker … Jason Williams should be able to make an impact at nose tackle … look for sophomore Kiondre Johnson to have an impact on the defensive line. He is short and stocky at 5-8, 256. Johnson played some running back and linebacker with freshman team in 2012

The apparent backup quarterback is Oklahoma move-in Clayton Oliver (6-1, 180) … the secondary of this team should be its strength, led by Sisk, who had five interceptions and 79 overall tackles in 2012.

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