Panther gridiron boss says week off important heading into preseason sessions


Fairbanks High School head football coach Patrick Cotter (center) talks to his team during a timeout in a 2017 game. The Panthers will open preseason practice on Monday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The summer work is in the books and members of the Fairbanks High School football team are now gearing toward the start of preseason practice.
The Panthers concluded 10 days of summer camp last Friday and are taking this week off before the preseason begins next Monday.
“It’s important that we give the guys some time off,” said fourth-year head coach Patrick Cotter. “We just completed 10 grueling days of camp and we want them to get off their feet this week.
“We want them coming into preseason two-a-days next week rejuvenated.”
Cotter said the two-week summer camp went very well for a team that is looking to improve upon last year’s 5-5 record.
“We worked the last two weeks on general, overall football,” he said. “The guys have a good understanding of our offense and defense and have shown a lot of hustle and good attitude this summer.”
Along with the summer camp, the Panthers hosted an eight-team seven-on-seven passing scrimmage that, according to Cotter, “went well.”
The Panthers have one or two holes to fill on either side of the football due to graduation.
FHS lost senior Beau Sloan from last year’s squad.
Cotter said that Josh Powell, Mason Cushman and Charlie Scheiderer are battling to replace Sloan at the “Z” position on the offensive unit.
Fairbanks also said good-bye to linebacker Trevor Chippas. His replacement could come from either Justin Wolfe or Braylon Green.
“We’ve still got guys battling for positions,” said Cotter. “However, we’ve got good depth on our roster.”
The Panther boss said he has no real concerns about his team heading into Monday’s first day (2-8 p.m.) of preseason practice.
“We’re healthy and ready to roll,” said Cotter. “We’re ready to hit someone else at this point and we’re ready to play football.”

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