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After two uncharacteristically sub-.500 seasons, New Lexington head coach Bill Nutt looks to right the ship and return the Panthers to their winning ways. The Panthers have more depth this year at the skill positions to go along with more speed. Nutt said they will be playing a lot of spread offense, but are not going to abandon the run. He said there are a lot of options in the backfield which gives his team the ability to stay fresh. New Lex will have a new leader under center after Tony Zaleski graduated last year. Accepting that role is senior, KJ Hook, who is moving from wide receiver to play quarterback for the first time in his career.
To make matters a little more interesting, Hook is coming back this year after suffering from compartment syndrome last season. Compartment syndrome is a condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle compartment. Hook missed most of the football season last year as well as the entire basketball season. Nutt says Hook has worked hard this offseason to come back from the condition and has come a long way at the quarterback position. Hook says he feels good and is focused on getting comfortable in the pocket. Nutt thinks the MVL will continue to be highly competitive, but does not want to look too far forward.
“We just take things one week at a time,” he says. “Our focus is preparing for Fairfield Union.” Nutt believes New Lex has great chemistry and tremendous enthusiasm which is a necessary characteristic to a successful team. After two down years, the Panthers are ready to return to success.
Key Losses: QB Tony Zaleski; Derrick Boyer OL/DL
Key Returnees: Kevin Hook, Sr QB; TJ Abrams, Sr DB/WR