Posted: 6:45 am Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
By Matt Porter
Love them or loathe them, the Dwyer Panthers will soon be known to a national audience as “the team from Palm Beach County.”
So for this week, non-Dwyer fans, tip your cap.
Now I’m not telling everyone from Ft. Pierce to Boca to holler ‘D-Block!’ when Curt Maggitt and Co. hit the field in Columbus. But no matter your favorite colors — orange and green, blue and red, maroon and gold — show Dwyer a little love leading into Monday’s game with Cleveland-Glenville (TV: ESPN, noon). To the rest of the country, the Panthers are the face of South Florida football this year.
They know they’re putting Palm Beach County on their back. “We’re trying not to go out there and embarrass ourselves,” said Maggitt on Saturday. “We want to represent Palm Beach.”
They hit the practice field with a vengeance Monday. After Saturday’s near-loss to Carol City, coach Jack Daniels heard from last year’s players. Matt Elam’s text message read “‘Coach, run those guys hard as you can on Monday and Tuesday,” said Daniels, and Gerald Christian wrote “I think the guys need to get in shape.” But Daniels needed little convincing.
The Panthers’ conditioning will be put to the test against Cleveland-Glenville. They’re facing a team the Cleveland Plain-Dealer picks to win the Ohio Division 1 state championship, one that just moved up to No. 15 from No. 22 in the AP Top 25 ranking.
Aside: Two things of note about the latest AP poll. One, Glenville is picked to lose to Dwyer, and Glades Central moves up to No. 19 from No. 21.
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We’ve written plenty about Dwyer’s Big Three, but Glenville brings three weapons of its own, and Dwyer’s coaching staff is getting familiar with them. We asked Daniels for his take on each.
First, Tarblooders — yes, Tarblooders. See below — quarterback Cardale Jones. He’s 6-5, 220 and threw for 2,168 yards last season, with 18 touchdown passes and four interceptions. He’s big, runs well and can make throws few quarterbacks can make.
Q. What do you see in Jones?
Jack Daniels: “I see a lot of Jacoby. He’s big, he’s got a real strong arm, and he can move his feet. He’s a lot like Jacoby. He might even be bigger than Jacoby.”
Q. How do you shut him down?
JD: “We’ve got a bunch of stuff … we’re kind of in the trial stages of a bunch of things. We’ve seen teams drop eight and have some success, but we really haven’t seen anybody pressure him. We’re not a team that’s traditionally sat back and played eight men in coverage. We’re trying to get to the quarterback. We’re going to do that. But we’ll also have some safe packages, too.”
Then we have Aundrey Walker. He’s 6-6, 355 (!) and “does not look like a 350-pounder … he has great mobility and strength,” according to the Plain-Dealer. Walker plays both ways, so he’ll see a lot of Curt Maggitt on both sides of the ball.
Q. Can you break down the Maggitt-Walker matchup?
JD: “If they’re going to single Curt up on him one-on-one, I like our chances. I don’t know how good the kid is, but … I know that we’ve had some pretty good tackles here. We’ve had two people block Curt, in a lot of practices, and they can’t get it done. We’re going to move Curt around a little bit. If he’s doing to get doubled, we have to do a better job of singling him up and getting him one-on-one, and I think he can win 90 percent of those battles.”
And wide receiver/punt returner/kick returner Shane Wynn might be the one player that worries Daniels the most. The Plain-Dealer calls Wynn, who is drawing serious recruiting interest from Miami, a ‘threat to score every time he touches the ball.’ He had 18 touchdowns and averaged 45 yards per kick return. The Panthers have a very good kicker in Bobby Puyol, and O’Leary is a fine punter. The ‘no return on an end zone kick’ rule applies nationwide, so Dwyer’s safest play is to kick it to the end zone.
Q: What’s your take on Wynn?
JD: “He’s good. We can’t let him beat us. He’s a great kick returner, punt returner. We can’t kick him the ball. We’ve got to try to punt the ball out of bounds.
“We can’t let that guy have the ball in space. That holds true when they’re on offense. They like to get him reverses, they like to get him speed sweeps. He’s a guy we’ve targeted to stop on offense and on special teams. They’ve got other guys that can hurt you, but he’s the guy that makes them go.”
Wynn scouting profile: <a href="
http://scoutingohio.com/index.php/view-profile.html?task=userProfile&user=436&name=ShaneWynn”>ScoutingOhio | Rivals | Scout | ESPN
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The More You Know: Three fast facts about Glenville
– ‘Tarblooders’ is a term used for railroad workers in the 1900s. Glenville uses the phrase ‘Sweat Blood’ as a rallying cry, and it used to have a practical meaning.
- Glenville, Ohio is where Superman originated.
- Ted Ginn Sr. coaches the Glenville Tarblooders. You may be familiar with his son. (Insert Cam Cameron reference here.)