Panthers open football season tonight as favorites to win 6A — again

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Panthers open football season tonight as favorites to win 6A — again

Blake Chadwick

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As the start of the football season looms — Derby plays at Garden City tonight — the question is will the Panthers repeat as Class 6A champions? 

“Got to get back to state,” senior defensive Back Terry Ginyard said when asked about the team’s goals. 

Derby returns most of the offense, including nearly all of its production.

“I want to rush for more yards than I did last year,” senior running back Tre Washington said. 

Washington scored 24 touchdowns and had 1,836 rushing yards as a junior, as he stated his case to be regarded as the top running back in Kansas. 

Defense was the talk of the town last year as Derby completely pummeled its opponents’ offenses all year. But after graduating a lot its highly touted defensive players, Derby still has managed to reload like every single year before. 

The Panthers are lockdown in the secondary with Ginyard and senior defensive back Brecken Kooser, both returners, along with junior safety Tanner Knox. 

The secondary complements the big and burly defensive line that includes returning starter Tyler Dorsey and senior Dan Archer, whose season was cut short due to an injury suffered during the third game against Newton. 

Be on the lookout for this talented defense to be just as good as last year’s. 

Offensively it’s impossible to ignore the offensive line with Kevin Washington and 4-star, Nebraska commit, Alex Conn. 

Senior quarterback Grant Adler returns after missing most of last season due to an injury suffered against Bishop Carroll. Then there’s the backfield with Tre Washington, Lem Wash and Zac Bryant, as well as a strong receiving corps of Davin Simms, Jake Karsak, Cavion Walker and Aaron Larson. 

The offense has all the pieces to be just as dominant. The Panthers put defenses in huge predicaments because they are versatile in the passing and running games.