When the words football and playoffs are mentioned together in Perry County you would think that the team being talked about was the Du Quoin Indians. It usually is, but this year if the injury bug can stay away from the Panthers you will hear those words in Pinckneyville around Halloween. Known for its basketball history, the powder blue boys of Perry County, are hoping that they can return to the IHSA playoffs for the third time under Coach Tod Rushing. The five win mark was reached in 2003 and 2006 and for some reason the IHSA football history only reaches back to 1994 which is about 50 years less than most other school football programs.
Stacked with Seniors
The Panthers will be led by possible college recruit Bryant Shute at QB/S (5'9 175). The senior has seen starting playing time at Quarterback even since his sophomore year, although a team violation had kept him out of playing four games last season. Even though the team led by Shute has yet to make the playoffs, he has had success leading his team to a few major conference upsets including shocking conference newcomer Carterville last season 30-22 and surprising an eventual playoff quarter-finalist in Nashville as a sophomore. Joining Shute in the Wing T / Spread is senior running back JD Conner (5'11 200). Coke Kellerman (6'2 235) will play fullback and be joined by Justin Hale at Running Back and Marim Brammeier at Tight End. The line is solid with the three seniors Sabin Kohut (5'10 235), Brad Thornton (6'1 255) and Keegan Kellerman (6'2 275). In fact, our entire top players listed for the team are seniors, with 22 seniors returning out of 50 varsity players expected it is no doubt a team with experience. The offense will return 8 starters while the defense will return 6.
Conference Outlook / Schedule
This is the Southern Illinois River to River - Mississippi conference so it is impossible to not expect the Du Quoin Indians and the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats to be leading the conference standings. Second year conference member, the Carterville Lions has to be considered in the mix with those teams considering the qualify players that they return. So, how will the Panthers have a chance to advance to the playoffs? The last few years have brought at least one big upset per season, and the rest of their schedule isn't leading the pack in strength of schedule. The Brian Beery lead West Frankfort Redbirds will not be the same team as the one that went against the Panthers the last few seasons but if we were playing U-Pick'em, we would pick Pville. The game against Sparta appear to be in their favor, even though a Bryant Shute [Highlight Video] vs. Darius Jackson (Sparta's very athletic QB) head to head QB shootout might lead to interesting results. We can likely mark the week nine game against the Dupo Tigers as a win. The 2011 strength of Red Bud and Benton right now are an unknown, but with a strong effort, either game might be a check in the win column. Nashville's group of super sophomores have moved through their system and have now all graduated. It is possible that with such a senior lead team that we see the Panthers keep away from injuries, band together and get Perry County talking about another team late in October.
|SIRR Mississippi Games of the Week - Week 1|
|Fri 7:00 - Nashville @ Carlyle|
|Fri 7:00 - Red Bud @ Pinckneyville|
|Fri 7:00 - Anna-Jonesboro @ West Frankfort|
|Fri 7:00 - Du Quoin @ Highland|
|Fri 7:00 - Carterville @ Benton|
|Fri 7:00 - Sparta @ Dupo|
Pinckneyville Panthers Top Athletes