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Panthers already looking to fill leadership roles

With the first week of practice behind them, the Butler County Magnet School Panthers are working to overcome the obstacle of youth.

“We are counting on a lot of young kids this year,” said head coach Shane Smothers. “They’re nervous because they didn’t expect to play varsity this year.”

“They’re going to get thrown in the fire,” he continued. “It���s not good for us early, but it’s great on down the road.”

Smothers said there are a number of eighth and ninth graders that will probably see significant playing time this season.

Youth also brings with it another obstacle to hurdle: leadership.

“We’re also still developing leadership,” Smothers said. “We’ve got a few that we were counting on that are lacking in desire, and that’s hurting us.”

The Panthers are also spending much of the time in half-line sets or working the inside game because of the team’s numbers.

“We’ve haven’t gotten to work on a lot of team stuff,” Smothers said.

“Other than the leadership setback, the kids are excited to put on pads,” he continued. “They’re ready for Marengo.”