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Panther Football focus: “Graduate. Championship. Scholarship.”

Panther Football focus: “Graduate. Championship. Scholarship.”

It's a new year, with some new players and lots of new coaches on the scene, but ECC Head Football Coach Josh Lattimer is continuing to keep the focus of the Panther football program on character with the motto: "Graduate. Championship. Scholarship."

"We've had lots of pre-season meetings with the players and our hopes are that we'll be a hard-nosed and tough team this season," says Coach Lattimer. "We will strive to be the toughest and most disciplined team on the field."

The pre-season included scrimmages with Butler CC and Grandview College, and Coach Lattimer says all the mistakes he saw on the field were correctible.

"Our expectations for this season are high, and I know the leaders on the team are working on living up to those high expectations. We expect to win a conference championship, region and national championship. If you do not have those expectations then you're playing for all the wrong reasons.

"I like the "do right" guys, and all the players know that. I'm counting on Irving Steele, Demarkus Carey, Terrell Simmons and Devante Averette on the defensive side and Trey Gilbert and Ciavy Wiles on offense to step up into those key leadership roles both on and off the field."

ECC finished the 2012 season with a 7-4 record and a Graphic Edge Bowl championship, and was ranked 19th in the final NJCAA polls. Therefore, the expectations for the 2013 season are set higher.

The 2013 season schedule includes Aug. 31 at North Dakota State College of Science, Sept. 7 vs. Iowa Western CC, Sept. 14 at Arkansas Baptist, Sept. 21 vs. Iowa Central CC, Sept. 28 at College of DuPage, Oct. 5 vs. Georgia Military, Oct. 12 vs. North Dakota State College of Science, Oct. 19 at Iowa Western CC, Nov. 2 at Iowa Central CC, and Nov. 9 vs. College of DuPage. Home games are in bold type.