Panthers again locked and loaded
With practice for the 2019 high school football season underway, Varsity Sports Network’s Derek Toney takes a look at the regular season itinerary for select area teams.
St. Frances Academy Panthers
2018 record: 10-0 (MIAA A Conference champions)
Overview: The Panthers were awarded the MIAA A title last season after fellow MIAA A opponents decided late last spring not to play them for competitive and safety concerns. The East Baltimore school, which will play an independent schedule in 2019, is among the nation’s elite with 11 players rated four-stars or better by national recruiting sites, led by University of Alabama commit Chris Braswell (defensive end/linebacker), defensive back Jordan Toles and defensive end Demon Clowney (both committed to LSU) and Michigan pledges Blake Corum (running back) and Osman Savage (linebacker).
Toughest 2019 opponent: Mater Dei. The defending mythical national champions in USA Today’s Super 25 won its second straight California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state title last year. Mater Dei (ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps and 3rd by USA Today) will feature USC commit Bryce Young (quarterback), Washington commit Myles Murao (offensive line), wide receiver Kody Epps and defensive linemen Sefita Tupe.
Most intriguing 2019 opponent: IMG Academy. The Florida school is the last team (in 2016) to beat the Panthers. IMG features a crop of Division I recruits including LSU commit Elias Ricks (defensive back), defensive linemen Demonte Capehart (Clemson), Miami commit Michael Redding (wide receiver) and defensive back Lejond Cavazos (Ohio State).
By a number: 4. Nationally-ranked teams St. Frances will play in 2019.
Aug. 24 Florida’s Central (11-3 in 2018)
Aug. 31 vs. Illinois’ Simeon (11-1) at Patterson Park
Sept. 6 vs. Florida’s American Collegiate Academy (5-4) at Patterson Park
Sept. 14 at California’s Mater Dei (13-2) at St. John’s Bosco (CA)
Sept. 20 vs. Florida’s Norland (4-7) at Patterson Park
Sept. 28 at New Jersey’s St. Joseph Regional (10-2)
Oct. 4 at Florida’s Venice (12-2)
Oct. 18 at Florida’s IMG Academy (7-1)
Oct. 26 vs. Connecticut’s St. Thomas More (5-3) at Patterson Park
Nov. 2 vs. Canada’s Clarkson North (6-6) at Patterson Park
Nov. 9 at Virginia’s Life Christian Academy (2-6)
Nov. 15 vs. Royalty Institute (0-0) at Patterson Park