FROM LEFT: Row 1: Devin Thomas, Bailey Henkle, Rashaan Gray, Matt Bodeman, Zach Larkin, Malik Lockett, Nick Holley, Matthew Sutter, Christopher Boykin, Rex Rutherford Row 2: Tre Sterritt, Mike Moore, Matt Winzeler, Ryan Rollins, Keith Howell, Dashon Gregory, Nathan Holley, Tylor Schneider Row 3: Logan Wolfe, Austin Buczkowski, Jordan Freimark, Josiah KIanyion, Marcus Elliott, Austin Bly, Drew Lerma, Devon Miller, Brandon Borman Row 4: Brendan Larkin, Ryan Kusic, Blake Teel, Cameron Cherry, Isaiah Kanyion, Elijah Elliott, Josip Jones, CJ Wilkinson, Jamal Bell, LeQuan Gephart Row 5: Mitchell Andrew, Brieyon McBride, Brandon Stallkamp, Jack Linch, Mike Rickard, Ian Golembiewski, Al Bryant, Nathan Streeter, Josiff Mathile, Evan Dotson Row 6: Trevor Wiskochil, Nate Wert, Christian Micolajczyk, Tanner Struve, Brandon Plaza, Connor Jacobs, Chris Haack, Jacob Cebina, Cody Ledzianowski Row 7: Eric Hart, Lord Lowe, Austin Shaffer, Mark Quimbar, Dylan Bovia, Ben Hricovsky, Adam Hart, Casey Reineke, Michael Freeman, Craig Kirsteins Row 8: Joenathan Mays, Jad Itawi, Dakota Alford, Kenneth Charter, Geoff Roberts, Michael Baldwin, Ryan Powell, Michael Dzikowski, Jeff Harman Row 9: Matthew Wielinski, Justin Rodriguez, Andrew Shuherk, Robby Roper, Caleb Campbell, Thomas Barnett, Jacob LaPoint, Marquise Moore, Phil Hoskins, Brandon Keriko Row 10: Brandon Moldenke, Tyler Richardson, Brian Skorich, Kenny Guerrero, Matt Stockdale, Blake Bengela, Kobee Houghtlen, Robert Vargas, trainers Aaron Sage, Dave Hamen Row 11: Coaches Mike Williams, Brad Densmore, Ken Winters, Justin Keller, head coach Jerry Bell, Bryce Graven, Irshad Bannister Rod Missler, Stan Meinen, Curt Hartman
Last season: 13-1, 7-0 TRAC
Returning letter winners: 13
Returning starters: Offense 5, defense 6
Top players: Seniors Nate Holley, 6-1, 180, LB; Jack Linch, 6-0, 200, LB; Matt Bodeman, 6-2, 190, WR; Nick Holley, 6-0, 180, QB-S; Marquise Moore, 6-1, 290, DT; Eric Hart, 5-10, 270, OL. Juniors Marcus Elliott, 6-2, 185, DB; Chris Boykin, 6-2, 175, WR.
Outlook: No TRAC team lost more top talent than the Panthers, who graduated four players who received All-Ohio recognition. Chris Wormley (DE) and Jody Webb (RB) were two-time Division I first-teamers who are now playing in college at Michigan and Toledo, respectively. Mark Meyers (DB) and Storm Stanley (OT) joined them on the first team, and are at Michigan State and Toledo, respectively. Alonzo Lucas (WR) was a third-team all-stater, and LeRoy Alexander (RB/DB) is at Nebraska.
Also gone is head coach Joe Palka, now the head coach and athletic director at Saline (Mich.), and his son, Tyler, who was a junior quarterback last season. But the cupboard is not bare. Bell takes over after 12 years as a Whitmer assistant.
Linch, Moore and the Holley twins lead what promises to be a solid defense, and Bell points to his kicking game as a strength. Finding players to fill the skill spots on offense on par with the 2011 team will be a challenge. The Panthers still commanded enough respect to be picked third in the TRAC, even with the prominent departures.
"There are a lot of holes to fill from last year's team," Bell said. "We are going to rely on our senior class to lead our team to a successful 2012 football season."
2012 WHITMER SCHEDULE
Aug. 24-at Start
Aug. 31-Detroit Catholic Central
Sep. 7-Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers
Sep. 14-St. Francis
Sep. 21-at St. John's
Sep. 28-at Clay
Oct. 12-at Fremont Ross
Oct. 19-Lima Senior
Oct. 26-at Central Catholic