Gridiron Lowdown – 9/8/16

The Florida Tech Panthers took to the field for practice on Thursday and the first impression out of the gate is that head coach Steve Englehart runs a tight ship. The players were attentive (even at 7:30 a.m.) and the practice ran very smoothly, as the team ran through multiple situations for much of the morning.

As expected, there were mistakes made in certain scenarios, and the coaches dealt with them immediately. There were also some good things done and they were praised accordingly. In short, it was a typical practice, with players who were tested and very attentive.

With about 15 minutes left, the music was cranking and things loosened up just a bit. Overall, a mix of business-like atmosphere, with a little bit of fun sprinkled in.

The unexpected news came after practice when Englehart was asked about his number one wide receiver Romell (‘Melo) Guerrier, who suffered a wrist injury in the opening week win over Newberry on Saturday.

“He’s out for the season,” said Englehart. He also said that fellow wideout Terrance Bynum, who also suffered a wrist injury during the game and he suffered the same fate as Guerrier, in that he will not return to the field this season.

The news caught this reporter off-guard, but Englehart was still upbeat and confident. “It just means other guys are going to have to step up,” he said.

Besides the wide receivers, Englehart said they also have a couple of players on the offensive line that is banged up, but he reiterated that it’s just part of the game.

When asked about the week one performance, Englehart said they did some good things, but there were also some things that were not so good. “We got some turnovers and took advantage,” he said. “But we gave up a lot of yards on defense and we can’t do that.”

He was obviously happy to get the win, as he talked about being in a similar situation last year with Newberry, in a game they eventually lost. This year they came away with a victory, which is obviously big in the early season.

The Panthers open their home season Saturday night, against Mississippi College. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will call a radio broadcast of the game, which will be available on WFIT 89.5 FM, at WFIT.org, and through the free TuneIn Radio app.