Navarro Panthers in town Thursday for annual scrimmage

The Devine Warhorses first opportunity of the 2017 season to battle against someone different than at practice comes Thursday night as the Navarro Panthers bring 23 returning lettermen to Warhorse Stadium for the teams’ annual scrimmage. Navarro has already gotten their feet wet so-to-speak by scrimmaging Fredericksburg last Friday while Devine had an inter-squad practice on Thursday evening.
The Panthers had an outstanding 2016 season going 14-1, losing in the Division II State Semi-Finals to West Orange-Stark 49 to 7 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Although 23 players return from that team that went 5 rounds deep, only 4 started on the high-potent offense and 3 from the defense.
The players will not be wearing game uniforms Thursday, only practice jerseys. Knowing who quarterback Will Eveld (6-3,190) is should not be difficult however… he will be the one lined up under center taking the snap and leading the charge. Eveld passed for over 1,480 yards and 21 touchdowns while being named District 13-4A Offensive MVP. Having the district’s offensive MVP returning make some believe the Panthers will make a deep playoff run once again.
Defensively for the Panthers, two key returners anchor the defenses most important position. Linebackers Tyler Law (5-10,190) was credited with 141 tackles and 6 sacks in 2016 and Will Reyna (5-9,160) who had 53 tackles last season.
Interestingly, the coaches in 13-4A D2 tabbed the Wimberley Texans, not the Panthers, as their pre-season pick to finish in their districts top spot. Head Coach Les Goad could use that as motivation for this year’s team.
Goad is entering his 11th season in Geronimo and has compiled a 97-25 mark over that time. Goad is a tremendous football coach and person. He has always been complimentary of the Warhorse program and has led his own program with class since his arrival. He will have his team ready for game one against the Giddings Buffaloes on September 1. Much like the Warhorses, however, he will also have his eye set on something much bigger than winning a regular season game, which is another district championship.
The Warhorses and Panthers share a mutual respect for one another. This is just a scrimmage to some, but for those that know the history of each program, how this scrimmage unfolds says a lot about realistic expectations for each team going forward. Both teams share a reputation for having physical football players and high scoring offenses. Because of those ingredients, each program has experienced loads of success throughout their history.
“It is a great opportunity to scrimmage a physical team like Navarro,” stated Head Coach Paul Gomez. “They come out aggressively on both sides of the ball and really give us an indication of where we stand.”
Scrimmage times
The freshmen will begin at 5:00pm followed by the JV at 6:00pm. The varsity will take the field at approximately 7:15pm. The Warhorses and Panthers will each run 20 to 30 plays on offense followed by a live quarter and an overtime quarter.
Towels, towels, towels…and nachos.
Many bath towels were collected as admission to the inter-squad scrimmage for the Warhorse and Arabian teams but more are needed. Bath towels can be your donation for admission to this scrimmage as well. You are also welcomed to give a small donation to the DABC so towels may be purchased and provided to the teams.
Kim Aaron and her fellow DABC members will have the north end zone concession stand open throughout the evening. Menu items include water, Powerade, popcorn, and nachos.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer