FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Snider High School's football program is set to reload from a 5A state runner-up team from a year ago.
The Panthers lose 37 players to graduation from a team that went undefeated in the regular season, and claimed the Summit Athletic Conference championship for the first time since 2005. However, Snider fills its roster with 30 new seniors.
"We build, as they progress through four years, for their senior year," head coach Kurt Tippmann says. "We talk to them about that when they show up as freshmen: you are practicing today for your senior year. Although they may not have as much Friday night experience, they've played for four years."
Great to be on the field again. Much work remains to be done. Tuesday sounds like another great day for football. Black and gold!— Snider Football (@SniderFB) August 6, 2013
Junior Colton Painter takes over as quarterback, replacing Brandon Phelps, who became the most prolific passers in school history. Defensive end Donavin O'Day and linebacker Rahju Blackmon lead an entire team looking to build off renewed success at Snider.
"We have a lot of hard work left to do and we got a ways to go," offensive lineman Shane Hurt says. "We haven't had that kind of feel for those championships in quite a few years and it definitely gives us a lot of motivation."
"We're trying to get the (SAC Victory) Bell, not keep it with us," defensive lineman Mitchell Boney adds. "It's not ours. Its last year's team's."
The Panthers once again find themselves in familiar territory, and once again feeding off traditional expectations.
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