Daniel Jiminez #2
Year in and year out the South Medford Panthers are one of the top teams in the state, but they don’t always get the love they deserve due to their location. This past season they did more of the same winning their first eight games of the season before falling to conference rival Roseburg in the state playoffs. They were ranked #3 in Oregon by NEI going into the final regular season game of the year before falling to nationally ranked Sheldon 35-12.
Bill Singler is regarded as one of the top head coaches in the Northwest and always gets the most out of his players. They will lose a couple big time kids ( Jack Singler, Matt Retzlaff, Desmond Harrington, Denzel Mobley, Jimmy Ditty, DJ McGinnis, Kirk Eastman) but for the most part they are young. They will bring back 8 starters on defense and have a bitter taste in their mouth after the loss to Roseburg in the playoffs.
Linebacker Pat Alexander (5-11 200 Jr LB) , the state’s leading 6a tackler (Max Preps) will be back to lead the defense and says ” we have a sour taste in our mouth the way the season ended, and want to make sure and do everything we can in the off season to get the job done next year”. The Panthers started the season 8-0 and finished (9-2) after a brutal 48-7 loss to Roseburg on their home field.
Back on defense will be two of the conferences top junior perimeter players in Adrian Garcia (6-0 165 Jr WR/DB) and Max Farthing (5-11 165 Jr WR/DB). Garcia is one of the top ranked junior wide receivers in the state (44 rec, 702 yds, 9 Tds) and is athletic enough to do the same on D. Farthing tied Garcia in interceptions with 3 and also caught 21 balls for 237 yards and 3 Tds.
On the D line they will have two big boys leading the way in Sam Curtius (6-5 230 Jr DE/OL) and Tristian Lallo (6-4 215 DE/TE). Curtius lead the team in sacks with (5) and is on our NEI top 140 for the class of 2013. Lallo is still really young and should be considered one of the top 50 players in Oregon for the class of 2014.
Kyle Eli (5-10 190 So DL/OL) and Anthony Gomez (5-7 180 So FB/LB) are two other other very talented sophomores that people are excited about. Eli accounted for 3 sacks and 4.3 tackles per game while Gomez was all over the place averaging 7.5 tackles per game and 3 Ints on the year.
To summarize the defense looks good. Alexander is one of the top defensive players in the state finishing with 123 total tackles (11.2 per game) and earning first team all league linebacker honors. Alexander says” I looked up to Kirk Eastman a lot , he was a tremendous leader and we competed all season to see who could make the most tackles”.
It will be tough to replace the likes of Jack Singler who threw 34 Tds/10 Ints and the “do it all kid” Matt Retzlaff who took the state by storm as a senior. He earned 1st team all league honors on both sides of the ball and was named 1st team all state on both offense and defense on our 1st annual NEI 6a All State team. We will be following up on the Seniors from South Medford in a future piece coming soon as they have some legit recruits.
You can look for Christian Bowley (5-6 150 So) and Ben Casebier (5-10 170 Jr) to be the guys who get the ball out of the backfield. They will have to replace first team all league back Denzel Mobley who had an outstanding year. Bowley earned 2nd team all league honors as a sophomore and is dangerous anytime he gets the ball.
Its a proud program and we are looking forward to coming down for our NEI/Barton event in Southern Oregon. Coach Singler runs one of the classiest programs in the Pacific Northwest, and he and his coaching staff have a lot to look forward to. Stay tuned as we will look at some of South Medford’s top senior recruits soon.