The Hyde Park Panthers will be under new direction in 2017. First year head coach Chuck Petersen takes over, replacing Dean Campbell who had been at the school since 2010. The new coach hopes to have a similar beginning this season to the start of the 2016 season. The Panthers started the year 7-1 and were undefeated in district play before losing to Holy Cross rival Regents.
What Petersen wants to avoid is another late season swoon. Hyde Park lost their last three games a year ago, including a playoff game against Fort Bend Christian (28-14) and a 50-0 drubbing at the hands of Regents. Petersen inherits a roster that has 20 seniors, including many of the skill positions. Leading the way for the Panthers will be quarterback, DJ Bolger (6’3″, 201). The senior QB will have several dependable options. Receivers Chase Bradley and Aaron Jenkins return, and running back Michael Cantu is back as well. All 3 are seniors and will be instrumental for success of the football squad.
Defensively, those three seniors will have a tremendous impact on the field. Bradley will see time at safety while Cantu and Jenkins will play the corners. Junior Alex Benkendorfer returns and will head the linebacker crew for the Panthers.
Coach Petersen believes his squad will be a work in progress as the season goes on and is confident his team can make another playoff run in 2017. If HP is to get over the hump and make it to state, they will have to play solid in all phases and the senior leadership and experience will be huge in a potential run. One concern the new coach has is depth, and its a valid concern. The roster does have 21 juniors listed so the team will need to grow up and get reps before starting district play on October 5th against Saint Marys Hall.
The season will most likely come down to the last 2 weeks when the Panthers face district powerhouses Holy Cross and Regents. A win in at least one of these games means Hyde Park is probably a playoff team and in a good position to advance in the playoffs. The season gets underway at Austin Lanier on September 1st. HP won this game a year ago, 41-7.
Record: 7-4 (4-2, 3rd TAPPS II-3)
Playoffs: Fort Bend Christian (14-28)
Head Coach: Chuck Petersen (1st season, 28-26 overall)
Assistant Coahes: Clay Smith, Glenn MacLeay, Gene Fruge, Keoni Akina
2017 Roster: MaxPreps
9/1 @ Austin Lanier
9/8 @ Ingram Tom Moore
9/22 @ Shiner St. Paul
10/5 Saint Marys Hall
10/12 @ St. Michaels
10/20 @ Cornerstone
10/27 San Antonio Christian
11/4 Holy Cross
11/10 @ Regents