Football eager for opening game

Cooper Chadwick

The Panthers are finally playing their first game, opening the season at 7 p.m. Friday night against Newton at the newly refurbished Panther Stadium.

After having to miss the first week of games due to being unable to find an opponent, the football players are excited and ready to play.

“I’m super excited and thankful to be able to have a game this week. I think I am most excited that this will be the first game in Panther Stadium to feel normal again after the Covid season last year,” junior defensive end Samuel Samé said.

Junior receiver Caleb Brown is also ready to get back on the field.

“I’m most excited about seeing where we are at as a team and finding our weaknesses and improving them,” Brown said.

Derby played Newton in the second week of the 2020 season and struggled in a 43-31 win, despite many expecting the Panthers to win handily.

“Last year’s game we struggled a bit, but as a program I believe we get more disciplined every year, so in turn we have improved in every aspect of the game whether that be offense, defense or special teams,” Samé said.

Newton is 0-1 after a 10-6 loss to Andover Central on Sept. 3.

“Newton is a great team,” Brown said. “We have a lot of respect for them. I think we will be more focused knowing these guys have shown they can hang with us and that precision will get us the win, I feel.”

Derby has two strong quarterbacks in junior Brock Zerger and senior Mercer Thatcher, who are both fighting for the starting spot in the opener. 

“I am not sure who the starting QB is, but whoever it is I know can get the job done. In my opinion, there’s not one QB better than the other. They are two great quarterbacks,” senior defensive end Quentin Dorsey said.