The Parish Episcopal Panthers enter 2017 with a coaching change for the first time in the program’s history. Scott Nady stepped down after last season from a program he started from scratch in 2003. Fortunately for Parish, a familiar face will still roam the sideline as Daniel Novakov takes over the head coaching position after 5 seasons as offensive coordinator.
Parish has just 5 seniors on the roster (MaxPreps) which does not bode well for their district slate, dominated by teams with lots of senior leadership. Last season, the Panthers had 11 seniors and it showed as the team earned a playoff berth in their first year in Division I play.
2017 will be a bit different as the Panthers will have to replace district MVP, QB Jeremy Hodge. The New Mexico State signee gave defenses fits a year ago and Parish is still looking to replace that production with its current roster. The Panthers do have a bit of experience returning on the line which should help a young offense tremendously. Junior Jalen North and senior Miles Miller return to anchor the o-line while both could also see time on the defensive line along with sophomore John Emmanuel.
The skill positions see the return of Logan Rayburn, Tyler Hamilton and Jack Love at receiver, all with playing time last season. Quinn Maloney and Nate Miller return and hope to give the Panthers a solid effort at running back.
Defensively, the Panthers gave up almost 37 points a game, a stat that includes games against TACA (52-6) and John Paul II (43-9). In district play, the Panthers yielded 39 points a game and with so much youth in 2017, it will be a a high expectation for that stat to improve with the explosive offenses in their district.
The season kicks off against Division II state finalist Austin Regents. A win against a D-II power on the road would go a long way in building confidence for such a young squad. Three weeks later, after games against SPC foe Episcopal School of Dallas and TACA, district play opens against Nolan, followed by Prestonwood.
Record: 7-5 (4-3, T-3rd TAPPS I-1)
Playoffs: Antonian (51-21), St. Pius X (28-56)
Head Coach: Daniel Novakov (1st season)
Key Returning Players
Logan Rayburn (WR, Jr.)
Jalen North (G,T, Jr.)
Jack Love (FS/WR, Sr.)
Tyler Hamilton (DE/WR, Jr.)
Miles Miller (G/NG, Sr.)
John Emmanuel (DE,LB, So.)
Josh Emmanuel (So.)
Jeremy Hodge (District MVP, New Mexico State)
Michael Griffin (All-district)
2017 Roster: MaxPreps
9/1 @ Regents
9/8 Episcopal School of Dallas
9/29 @ Nolan Catholic
10/6 @ Prestonwood
10/13 Liberty Christian
10/20 Bishop Dunne
10/27 @ JPII
11/10 @ Bishop Lynch