Beyond the Gridiron: South Ridge Off to Best Start in School History

Updated: October 02, 2018 11:48 PM

With a new school and new identity created back in 2011, this year marks a few firsts for the South Ridge football team.


"We've never blown Silver Bay out," said senior tight end and defensive end Jayton Nelson heading into their game with the Mariners.

On Friday the Panthers handed Silver Bay a 30-0 shutout out loss. Tallying the win also improved South Ridge to 5-0 on the season, which marks the teams best start in school history.

"It really makes us feel good to say that we were the first team to do something like that. It just really keeps your confidence high," Nelson added.

The Panthers are quick to credit what they call their reinforcements as to why this team has had so much success this season.

"We have a lot of depth this year and it's pretty nice. We give a lot of the starters breaks," said senior running back and middle linebacker Joe Janke.

"The thing is with this group here is we've got our starters, but we've got depth too," said South Ridge head coach Brent Johnson. "We get them in there and it's good to know that we can put those players in and they're going to do the job.

It also doesn't hurt that they've returned a few key offensive starters including their go-to guy in the backfield. Janke has already amassed over 1,000 yards in five games averaging just over 200 yards per game.

"I've been playing for a while, since 9th grade. I've learned that you have to be patient and wait for the blocks to form," Janke said about his what he's learned.

"We've been running well, really pounding the ball on other teams and our offensive line size has been a contributor to that also.," added Johnson.

With only two games left on their seven game schedule and everything seemingly falling the Panthers way, they're hoping to accomplish one more thing as a team this season.

"We want to end at that section championship. That's our whole goal this year. We've gotten there - we got there two years ago. Last year, we were a game away. Now, we're ready to win it," said Nelson.

The last South Ridge team to make it to the state tournament was back in the 2012-2013 season.

The Panthers are set to host North Woods (1-4) on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 P.M.

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