A positive start for Panthers

Published 8:42 pm Monday, July 30, 2012

Northside quarterback Noel Howson (left) hands the ball off to Antonio Wood during Panthers’ practice on Monday at Northside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

YEATESVILLE — The  dew glistened on the freshly cut grass early Monday morning underneath a sun that had not yet reach full strength as the Northside High School football team conducted its first day of football practice.
The setting was a symbolic one for the Panthers, who after going 0-9 last year are hoping the start of their season can be as pleasant as their first early morning practice.
All signs pointed toward positivity as Northside had 45 athletes attend practice and it is hoping to have a 0JV team for the first time in two years.
“We were very, very pleased with our turnout and we are hoping that we can hold on and have enough for a JV team,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “Last year we finished the season with 28 and I think we started with 32.”
The Panthers cannot begin full-contact practices for another six days but Boyd said right now the team’s emphasis is on getting the players in shape and in the right position for the upcoming season.
“Right now we are just doing conditioning and trying to find people that fit into this puzzle that we’re trying to create and go from there.”
Aside from the stellar turnout, what pleased Boyd the most Monday morning was the atmosphere.
“The enthusiasm was great,” Boyd said. “The team looked like they were out there having fun and having a good time. We’re just excited. It’s a young group and they’re enthusiastic and ready to get on the field.”