Letterman Magazine

Football

’17 Season Preview: Benton Panthers

The Benton Panthers have had strong seasons the past four seasons. Benton finished with an 8-5 record last season and went on a playoff run. Benton has some impressive pieces coming back and this will likely be another solid season for the Panthers. A playoff berth and challenging for the conference title are solid goals to have and this is a team that is capable of accomplishing them.

Benton has five starters returning on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers have wide receiver Clayton Maertens returning and he has the potential to stretch the field and be a playmaker for the Panthers. Maertens racked up over 200 yards receiving last and has the potential to improve upon those numbers drastically this season. Benton fans should expect to see an offense that is much improved this season.

The Panthers’ defense has three starters returning for the upcoming season. The Panthers will be young on defense but they have the talent to continue to be disruptive. Benton fans should keep an eye on defensive end Blake Edwards this season. Edwards lived in the opponents’ backfield last season racking up 45 tackles and three sacks. If Edwards can continue his solid play, I would not be surprised to see him get some scholarship offers. The Panthers’ defense has potential they just have to make sure they get off the field.

Benton should be a playoff team once again this season and possibly even challenge for a conference championship. Fans should look for the offense to continue to put up impressive numbers. If the defense can gel quickly, then this could be a team that goes on a long playoff run.

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