Football team with senior day Saturday

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern football team will honor its 21 seniors Saturday for senior day prior to the Panthers’ game with Eastern Kentucky.

This season has not gone in the direction the Panthers could have hoped or the way anyone would have thought.

For starters, the Panthers have been without their starting senior kicker since the warmups before the first game of the season. Nick Bruno injured his leg and has not kicked for Eastern this year.

And the bad luck continued for redshirt senior Mitch Kimble, who once again, was injured and missed a significant amount of time.

“I feel bad for Mitch because his last two seasons have really been ruined because of injury and he hadn’t been able to show what he can truly do,” coach Kim Dameron said.

Kimble, when he was healthy, showed that he was one of the top quarterbacks in the Ohio Valley Conference.

And senior day is meant to honor the contributions that he and his 20 senior teammates have made over their careers at Eastern.

Dameron said this group of guys have shaped the culture at Eastern.

“This senior class has done a great job of leading this football team,” Dameron said. “This senior class is the reason we won so many games early close. They just believe and they keep doing the little things the right way. They’ve showed really great leadership.”

He said it is going to be sad to see them leave, but hopefully the Panthers have more than two games left.

He noted that this group of seniors have been around for some big wins.

Last year, Eastern beat Miami-Ohio and Illinois State, were 7-1 two years ago and made the playoffs.

“This senior class has done a lot,” he said.

The last two losses hurt the Panthers’ chances of getting a playoff berth and their season can be over in three weeks.

Dameron said the Panthers have made too many mistakes this season.

“It’s been that we have to keep the games close and win them close in the end,” Dameron said. “The ones that we’ve let get away from us, the reason for that is mostly because of turnovers.”

Esatern picked up four wins in a row to start its OVC portion of its schedule, but all came down to the last play.

Even Eastern’s non-conference season opener against Indiana State came down to a Kimble touchdown pass to Dennis Turner with 3 seconds left in the game.

“We have to make sure we don’t do things that prevent us from being successful,” Dameron said.

All season has made do with what it had, and has this as its final chance to play at O’Brien Field in front of the home fans this season.

Eastern is 4-2 in OVC play and the Colonels are 3-3.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at O’Brien Field.

Sean Hastings can be reached at581-2812 or [email protected]