Saturday, October 27th, 2007
Panthers persevered to strong year
By Gary R. Rasberry
VERSAILLES - Area football fans might admit that they rooted for Parkway this season, unless the Panthers were their school's opponent for the week.
It's hard not to root for the Panthers, a team that has struggled over the past few years, getting just one or two wins each of the last few seasons and being on the wrong end of some blowouts by powerhouses like Coldwater and Marion Local.
Look up the word "perseverance" in the dictionary - which means "steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success." - and a picture of a Parkway football player would likely be included.
Parkway ended the regular season with a win over Versailles, the first against the Tigers since 1964.
Parkway is still in the playoff chase and has a shot at taking a spot in the postseason for the first time since the 1999 campaign.
Even if the playoff train pulls away from the station without Parkway, this was one of those seasons that Panther fans will remember.
The ones who will remember it most are the 11 seniors on this year's team, a group who took their lumps over the past few years.
"This is what happens when you have a lot of guys who want it bad," said senior quarterback/linebacker Jordan Thompson. "That group of seniors, we know what the 1-9 and 2-8 (records) is. The seniors, you have to pay tribute to them because they're the guys who stuck with it."
In an era where sometimes it's easier to quit during the rough times because losing isn't fun, the seniors persevered, and got their chance to shine.
"It would have been so easy last year to quit, knowing we didn't have anything," said Thompson. "That's where we came together."
Head coach Ed Kuhn worked to get his team back in form in taking the job last season. The Panthers were 2-8 last year, but showed signs at times of what could happen.
The change was that Parkway made it happen this year instead of having it done to them and in the process laid a strong foundation for future Panther squads.
"Jordan and that whole group of senior guys; Men of character," said Kuhn. "I told them when I got the job that character will always lead to success. They had great character, Jordan and all those senior guys. They kept working and doing their job."