SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish Panthers begin the 2016 season competing in a new league, moving down from Wesco 4A to join the Wesco 3A South for football, and with a new quarterback behind center.
Senior Brandon Jodock will take over as the Panthers’ starting quarterback this season, replacing Kobe McDaniel, who graduated in June.
McDaniel had a breakout season of sorts as a senior, leading the Panthers to the playoffs for the first time under head coach Kai Smalley, who is entering his fourth season at the helm.
Smalley expects his team to build off of the late-season momentum from a year ago and has high expectations for his new quarterback.
“Two years ago when (Jodock) was going into his sophomore year and Kobe was going into his junior year, they were neck neck for a while,” Smalley said. “He’s a talented quarterback.”
In 2015, Smalley implemented a wildcat package for Jodock to get the ball in his hands more often.
With Jodock in a starting role in 2016, Smalley won’t have to find ways to get the ball in his hands.
“He’s good with his legs, runs the ball well and he’s got a very good arm,” Smalley said. “He’s a very good leader out here. The last two days he’s got our kids into conditioning without even having to ask him. He was our starting freshman quarterback and he’s been the JV quarterback, so he’s been through the system. Watching him out here, he looks like a returning starter.”
The Panthers open the season Sept. 2 at home against Marysville Pilchuck.
Head coach: Kai Smalley (4th season)
Key returners: Brad Raymond, OL/DL, sr.; Keegan Stich, RB/LB, jr.; Josh Johnston, WR/FS, sr.; Jess Harris, TE/LB, sr.; Brandon Jodock, QB, sr.; Nathan Hall, OL/DL, sr.; Ty Roth, WR/DB, sr.
Coach’s quote: “We have a great senior class coming back that has been playing together for a long time and has had success. They’re a very hard-working group and they work well together. A lot of them got a lot of time last year. We also have some younger guys, some incoming juniors and even some incoming sophomores, that had some good time last year. We have some experience coming back and we’re excited about the leadership we have coming back.”
—Aaron Lommers, Herald Writer