Coach: Nate Ruple, fourth year
Last season: 3-7, 2-6 NWOAL
Returning letter winners: 14
Returning starters: Offense 10, defense 7
Top players: Seniors Micah Mohr, 6-1, 165, QB; Ryan Vaughn, 5-10, 155, OL-DL; Dom Mattimore, 6-1, 230, OL-DL; Shelton Lillich, 6-1, 210, SE-DE; Brenden Knopp, 5-10, 150, RB-DB. Juniors Tyler Fahrer, 5-9, 171, RB-DL; Michael Morrissey, 5-9, 205, OL-LB; Jacob Willson, 5-8, 140, RB-DB.
Outlook: The Panthers have their sites set on improving this season with a much more experienced roster.
The Panthers return one of the NWOAL's top talents in running back Tyler Fahrer, who ranked among the league's leading rushers last season. With limited carries as a sophomore, he gained 294 yards on 83 attempts.
Ruple must find some others to step up and contribute offensively in order for the Panthers to be able to contend. Mohr, as the projected starter at quarterback, will be asked to take the lead on offense. Defensively, the Panthers will rely on Vaughn and Lillich as leaders.
"Going into the 2012 season, we have many returning players from last year's squad," Ruple said. "We will have to rely on the experience of our upperclassmen to lead this football team.
"As far as physical size, we will be one of the smallest teams in the league. To be successful, we'll have to be quick and hard-nosed up front on both sides of the ball."
2012 DELTA SCHEDULE
Aug. 24-at Toledo Christian
Aug. 31-at Evergreen
Sept. 28-at Patrick Henry
Oct. 5-at Archbold
Oct. 19-Liberty Center
Oct. 26-at Montpelier