The Wichita Independent squad never saw a victory in 2011, but with a capable freshman class added to the mix, Panthers’ coaching staff remains optimistic.
Coach: Jarrod Hibler (one year at Wichita Independent with a school record of 0-9, overall 3-17)
2011 Recap: 0-9 Overall, 0-8 league record
2012 District: Bluestem, Sedgwick, Remington
Returning Starters: Offense 6, Defense 6
Key Returning players: Senior Trey Williams (WR/CB); Senior Kevin Jarvis (TE/LB); Senior Matt Medrano (C/DT); Senior Matt Loveland (QB/S); Senior Casey Kolbeck (RB); Senior Grant Campbell (LB); Junior Carter McCausland (LB); Junior Christian Brown (OL)
Offense: Last year the Independent offense was scoreless in four of their nine games, but with a band of freshmen joining their squad, the Panther upperclassman must keep a positive mentality in order to guide the team to a more successful season.
“This team is looking to improve on a very tough season,” said Coach Jarrod Hibler. “We will have a large senior class which should help this team tremendously. The addition of a talented ninth grade class will add depth to the program which we have not had in the past.”
Because the Panther’s had 657 passing yards last season to their opponents 395, the offensive success frequently depends on the arm of senior quarterback Matt Loveland. Loveland not only brings 94.7 passing yards per game from last season, but he also completed 50 percent of his pass attempts and rushed for 132 yards. Fellow senior wide receiver Trey Williams averaged 51 receiving yards per game and will remain a strong piece to the offensive puzzle as well.
Another dynamic pair of upperclassmen, senior tight end Kevin Jarvis and junior running back Casey Kolbeck, scored almost half of Independent’s total points and had 288 receiving yards combined. The twosome will depend on their offensive lineman for protection in order to carry the Panthers to a higher scoring 2012 season.
Defense: For Independent, many of the offensive threats are also defensive threats. The defense gave up 1986 rushing yards to their opponents last season, but with players like Jarvis and junior Carter McCausland working well together season, opposing offenses will know who to watch out for.
Odds and Ends: The Panthers scored 47 to their opponent’s 467 in the 2011 season. Ten juniors and thirteen sophomores were on last season’s roster. Playing with such a young team presented its problems last year, but the Panthers are hoping the experience on the field will pay off this year.