Reitz Panthers football program on a mission to ‘finish’ goals

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Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Reitz high school football program is heading into head coach Cory Brunson’s third year at the helm on a mission.

“This year’s team theme is finish,” Brunson said. “We want to be able to finish what last year’s group was right there almost doing. All winter, spring, summer we’ve been talking about finishing your last set in the weight room, things like that. Had a good offseason, we’ll find out if it was good enough.”

“We need to finish,” junior defensive end Lexi Oxley said. “We can’t just give up and let that bad play determine the rest of the game, we need to start strong, make every play we need to play and do what we’ve been taught all summer long. I believe it starts with that first game.”

The Panthers are coming off back-to-back 4-7 seasons, but their identity is still growing as Brunson says 15 seniors return while about 30 juniors are back in the fold.

“Every team is a new week, we just have to have a fresh mind,” junior wide receiver Hayden Summers said. “We’ve all just been developing together. Last year we were a young team, we learned from our mistakes last year. Now I feel like we will be able to put it together really well.”

Brunson’s third season is looking to boast a more experienced core, especially on defense, and most of the skill players have also returned.

The looming question is who will fill the quarterback position? Brunson says there is a good battle going on between junior Wyatt Brown and sophomore Ben Davies.

“One has played a couple years, knows the system, one’s learning it, he’s picking up quickly,” Brunson said. “Throughout the summer, our scrimmage and the seven-on-seven, they both have done good things. Whenever Friday night gets here. lights are on, crowd’s there, we may see more who wants to takeover. They both bring things to the table.”

The Panthers will take on Harrison at the Reitz Bowl in week one.

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