Panthers handling expectations

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As training camp starts for the Eastern football team, not only are Panthers dealing with the heat and wind sprints, but they also have the weight of being ranked no. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Plus, the Panthers are looking to improve on their 8-4 record from last season and looking to get to the playoffs for the second straight season.

“We have addressed that issue and it is human nature to think about it,” Easterns head football coach Bob Spoo said. “But even though we have talked about it we know that we havent arrived by any means.

“We just have to deal with the things that we can control and work hard to improve ourselves each week.”

Training camp started last week for the veterans and a week earlier for the freshmen, and although camp is only seven days old coach Spoo already has things to be encouraged about.

“One of the things I am pleased with is the leadership that we are getting from our seniors,” Spoo said. “I was concerned about that after losing all of the seniors that we lost last season, but those guys have really stepped it up and showed a lot of leadership.”

While leadership is something that Spoo is pleased with, he is also encouraged about the play on both sides of the ball.

“Our quarterback has had a really great camp and so has Will Bumphus and Frank Cutolo at the receiver position.

“Defensively, our linebackers are playing great, and our defensive secondary is one of the bright spots of the camp as well.”

But not everything has been seen as a good thing in the seven days of practice, as the Panthers are having with the number of players at certain positions.

“The thing I am concerned with is the depth on the defensive and offensive lines,” Spoo said. “We are experiencing a lack of players at defensive line with injuries and simply not having the players at that position.

“On the offensive line we havent really found the combination that we want yet, but we are going to find the right players in the right positions and we will be alright.”

With camp beginning its second week coach Spoo already feels that his team is making improvements every day, and getting themselves ready for a successful season.

“I really feel like right now the team is moving forward with every practice,” Spoo said. “But we know that have to continue to work to become better.”