The Heritage Panthers finished 2019 with a two-game winning streak that got them over the .500 mark at 5-4. Head Coach Mark Ainsley is back for another season, as his squad looks to build on last season.
Quarterback Devin Alves is heading into his sophomore season, after throwing for 943 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman. He also rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jonathan Bowden saw action on six games last season, throwing for 188 yards.
Bennie Hancock and Reggie Reynolds, who have both graduated were the two top targets for the Panthers. Sophomore Jaiden Pritchard and junior running back Tay Farmer will pick up the slack a bit. Pritchard had 11 catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in 2019, while Farmer had 10 catches for 60 yards.
Farmer scored eight touchdowns to lead all the running backs while running for 848 yards. He averaged 94.2 yards per game and had four 100-yard games. Junior Chatavion Perry had 26 carries last season, but he made the most of those carries, averaging 9.1 yards every time he touched the ball. He finished with 236 yards.
The Panthers defense had 26 sacks as a team last season, but the leaders in that category have graduated, including Brennen Geib (9), and Christian Gonzalez. They also lost their leading tackler Nathaniel Etienne. Junior Darnell Williams had 81 tackles from the inside linebacker position last season, 41 were solo tackles and he was credited with a half-sack as well. Naheam Feyijinmi had 53 tackles last season, with three sacks. He will likely be counted on heavily this season.
Nakari Mcintyre played in just two games as a freshman, but that is a name you will likely hear more this season. He played as a linebacker and is also listed as a fullback.
The Heritage schedule is in the early stages as of the writing of this article, and therefore is subject to change. They will open the season on August 28 at Harmony in a 7:00 p.m. game. They will also play at Cocoa, at Auburndale, and at Astronaut. The home schedule will be available in the coming days.