PICKFORD- The Pickford Panthers are playing 8-man football and are returning a familiar team in 2023, after only graduating two seniors in 2022, with every other player being an underclassman. The Panthers went 6-3 but missed out on the playoffs. Pickford’s head coach, Josh Rader is going into his 20th year as head coach of the Panthers, one of the longest standing head coaches in the Eastern upper peninsula, he knows that playing in the Great Lakes Conference is a challenge.
“I think we are in a very tough conference and, nothing is easy and if you wanna make the playoffs, you gotta prove it. Cause, you’re gonna be tested every single week. And so, we realized that last year we went six and three, but it wasn’t enough to get in and, so we’ll have to play better this year.” Said Rader.
One of the many returners, Tommy Storey is all over the field playing quarterback, fullback, and linebacker for the Panthers. He thinks the team’s strong suit is on the defensive side of the ball.
“Our defense is, a crucial key and, you just gotta keep trying and sometimes you don’t get those tackles and sometimes you do and hopefully this will be our year.” Said Storey.
Pickford will begin their season against Gaylord St. Mary on Thursday night.