2021 36 Blitz: Frankfort Panthers

The Panthers are looking forward to bouncing back from a rough 2020 season

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FRANKFORT, Ky (WTVQ) – Last season the Frankfort panther went 2 and 5. Their fewest wins since 2015. Considering what they were up against last season…head Coach Craig Foley can’t dwell on it too much.

“Just the fact that we got to play and that’s what we tried to preach to our kids,” says Coach Foley. “You know you got to play the game. We got 7-8 games in when in July we didn’t know if we were going to get any games in. And we played well. We were 2-5, but three of the games we lost by 4 points combined. You know so we talked about some of those little things. Could’ve easily been 5-2 and who knows what happens after that.”

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Frankfort is 1A and that means they have little room for error or injury. Everybody is playing; sometimes playing on both sides of the ball

“We always have low numbers, but everyone is willing to play whatever position that they need to play,” says senior lineman Adrian Spencer. ” Because you can’t have people who only want to play one position on one side of the ball.”

For a small team, injuries can truly determine your success.

“We’ve gotta stay healthy. I mean that’s our number one thing and that leads to the consistency factor,” said Coach Foley. “We’re thin up front so if we lose a lineman that could really affect us down the road, but athletically we’re staying consistent with that. We do what we do. We’re going to spread the field out, put athletes in space, and put the ball in their hands.”

“Coach Foley knows to win those close games in the fall it starts now preparing in the summer. That’s why he put his team on a bus and traveled to Mercer County where they’re playing in an organized team activity. And he knows once here, his team needs to do one thing.

“Compete. That’s the magic word. I think you hit it right on the head there. You know is this anything we’re going to do in a game? Not a lot of it, but our kids have to learn how to compete and that’s the best part about this whole thing. That they’re coming out. You get different looks. You get different opportunities. kids are tired, but hey suck it up. Everybody else is going so you gotta go, too.”

You can bet the players love it as well.

“It’s really different from last year because it’s really the first year we’ve ever did this, but I like it a lot…the competition. Gets us ready,” says Spencer. “The competition right here gets us ready for Fridays.”

“I like competing. It feels good to do this again,” says senior running back Azeno Williams. “Last year we didn’t do anything during the summer except for practice. It’s good to get out and see other teams and get to compete with a whole lot of other people.”

Hitting the road for OTAs, starting practice on time, and hopefully starting the season on time. Foley and the Panthers are happy to be back in their old routine.

“Getting back to normalcy,” said Foley. “Anything close to that is what we’re really fired up and excited about so we’ve got high expectations for this year, too. It’s that whole thing, we’re an injury away, but if we stay injury free we feel like we’ve got a good chance to get deep in the playoffs.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com