TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

August 3, 2012

Off to camp

Scott Russell's Panthers looking good heading into camp

CORBIN — By Les Dixon / Sports Editor

KNOX CENTRAL — With camp beginning today in Artemus for Scott Russell’s Knox Central Panthers, the second-year head coach and former Mr. Football likes what he has seen so far out of his group.

“I’m really pleased with the way things are going right now,” Russell said. “The kids are really working hard and the biggest thing is they don’t want last season to end like it did. The kids have really been working hard — no complaints.”

A lot of positives have come Knox Central’s way the past few weeks. Matthew Barger has returned to the team and has made the Panthers’ offensive attack even stronger in the process.

“Getting Matthew Barger back is big,” Russell admitted. “Right now, he’s coming back as a receiver. Devon Evans has stepped up at the quarterback position, but we could get to a point where both of them are competing for the job.”

Russell said he now has 62 players out for the team, which is the largest amount since he came to Knox Central as an assistant coach nine years ago.

“I’m really pleased with the turnout of kids,” he admitted. “This is the biggest number of kids we’ve had here since I’ve been a part of Knox Central’s football program. I’m really pleased with that number and I expect it to be a bit bigger once school starts back.”

Russell also said senior tailback Jeffrey Canady is still committed to Eastern Kentucky University, but a lot of Division I schools are still giving a look at him.

“He’s committed to Eastern Kentucky University right now and right now there are a lot of Division I schools that are interested,” he said. “Louisville, Ball State, Kentucky and Western Kentucky are some of those schools. I believe they want to see three or four of our games before doing anything.”

Russell said hehas been pleased with the way practices have been during the summer, but the lack of depth at the skill positions remain a concern.

“I’m always concerned about our depth at the skill positions,” he said. “Now we do have some younger guys that can fill in. They are freshmen and you really don’t want to throw freshmen out with the style of football we play, but these guys have shown they can do the job.

“The big thing for us right now is that we’re going into the camp as healthy as we can be,” Russell added. “If we can remain healthy, I really like our chances of having a very good season.”

Knox Central will host a pair of scrimmages Thursday with Lynn Camp and Cumberland Gap, Tenn. playing at 6 p.m. while the Panthers and Williamsburg follow.

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