Panthers field small squad, but have experienced leaders
First year Pinewood Head Coach Michael Wright is looking for his players to have a great experience this season while continuing to learn, grow and develop.
“I want this team to be successful,” said Wright, who spent the past decade at the Flint Hill School in Fairfax, Va. “Success is measured by wins and losses so ideally I would like some wins not just for the players but for the community at large especially after a run of some tough experiences over the past few years.”
The Panthers have a smaller roster this season so several players will see both sides of the ball.
There are currently two juniors in the running for Pinewood’s starting quarterback position. Lewis Vaughan is still adapting and learning the position and his commitment is terrific. Also vying for the spot is Dexter Coaxum.
“Lewis is a savvy guy who is improving from scrimmage to scrimmage,” Wright said. “Dexter is mobile and elusive and is going to be able to do some good things either as a quarterback or in another position.”
Senior captain Shareef Boddie should be an impact player this season. He will play both offensive tackle and defensive end.
Captain Clayton Are, also a senior, will play offensive and defensive tackle and is a big physical threat.
“Clayton has really come into his own and is a big athlete with a big presence,” Wright said. “You can see his confidence, passion and the drive for excellence that he brings to the game.”
Center/defensive end Cameron Poaps and linebacker/running back Alex Nelson are also senior captains who have really stepped up this year.
“Both players have been with the program for a few years,” Wright said. “Their leadership is showing and they are both a great asset to the team. I am also impressed with senior Zachary Latham who will play linebacker and running back. He is a quiet leader who has a huge impact.”
Kicking for Pinewood is senior Kevin Weber who will also be a major factor at defensive back and wide receiver. Weber has a strong leg and has proven accurate from long range. He also has good speed, size and hands.
Pinewood opens up on the road with a game against Northwood Academy Aug. 30. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.