- COACH — JAMES KELLY (4th year, 16-14)
- CONFERENCE — CCC Division II East
- PLAYOFF CLASS — L (560 boys enrollment)
- HOME — E.O. Smith High School Field
- 2017 RECORD — 7-3
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7 at Bristol Eastern, 6 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITE — Maxpreps, Twitter: @EOSFootball
- KOBE STIGLER, Sr., RB/FS, (6-0, 190)
- JOSHUA ELDREDGE, Sr., DL, (6-1, 230)
- ISIAH LOVELL, Jr., DE, (6-2, 215)
DE Rondell Bothroyd (Wake Forest), RB Isaiah Rivera
Opposing quarterbacks can breath a sigh of relief: The Rondell Bothroyd era at E.O. Smith is over.
The senior defensive end capped off his outstanding career with 11 1/2 sacks (25 1/2) for his career and helped the Panthers to a 7-3 record last year.
Despite the loss of Bothroyd and back Isaiah Rivera, the Panthers still have experience returning with five starters on offense and six on defense.
One of the top returning players is Kobe Stigler, who combined with Rivera for over 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns on offense. Stigler will look to build off a 1,000-yard season, which saw him rush for 10 yards-per-carry and 12 touchdowns.
Stigler will have the benefit of running behind three returning starting offensive linemen, led by senior Joshua Eldredge. The offensive line depth is the Panthers biggest strength heading into this season, coach James Kelly said.
Senior quarterback Jaidin Glidden is returning for the Panthers. Last season he threw for over 500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Though Gidden has the most experience under center for the Panthers, Kelly said that every single position is open for competition.
Though Bothroyd is gone, the Panthers can still rely on Eldredge, Lovell and Gidden to pressure opposing quarterbacks on defense. The trio combined for nine sacks last year, albeit with most teams focused on stopping Bothroyd. Now, it’s their show.
E.O. Smith will play its first three games on the road before returning home in the final week of September. The homecoming will kick off the hardest part of the Panthers’ schedule.
They will face Maloney, Windsor and Middletown — teams Kelly believes are the teams to beat in CCC Division II — in three-consecutive weeks. The good news? They’re all coming to Storrs.
- Sept. 7 — at Bristol Eastern,* 6 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — at Wethersfield,* 7 p.m.
- Sept. 22 — at CREC Co-Op, 11 a.m.
- Sept. 28 — MALONEY,* 6 p.m.
- Oct. 12 — WINDSOR,** 6 p.m.
- Oct. 19 — MIDDLETOWN,** 6 p.m.
- Oct. 26 — PLATT,* 6 p.m.
- Nov. 2 — at Farmington,** 6 p.m.
- Nov. 9 — HARTFORD PUBLIC,** 6 p.m.
- Nov. 20 — at Tolland,* 7 p.m.
Home games in CAPS.