Panther Football: a very brief and very abridged history

Michael “sure I will do the article” Crews

As you all probably know, this year the Geneva High School Panther football team have made it to the first round of the state playoffs! This is first playoff appearance in the Coach Sanders era, and I thought it would be nice to write an article detailing our “Road to the Playoffs” and to mark this milestone in this coaching regime. I asked Coach Michael Crews to write this article about a week ago…but of course he hasn’t *sigh* so I’m going to publicly shame him with a somewhat less than flattering photo.

Anyway, having planned on Crews letting himself, me, PSN, and everyone else down, I had been doing my own research and was preparing to write the article myself, when I found a website just loaded with all sorts of statistics and records and other kinds of juicy football tidbits: The Alabama High School Football Historical Society.  I looked up Geneva High School, and found it very interesting to say the least, and thought I’d share some of the items I discovered that relate to Geneva Panther football.

The Geneva High School football team first took the field in 1922, and according to the website they played three games that year and ended in a 0-2-1 season, with loses to Walton County Florida and Red Level, and tying with Elba. The coach that year was listed as “unknown” so if anyone has any further information let us know and I will pass it along to the website owner. Also it is noteworthy to mention that the centennial celebration of Geneva High School football is just a couple of years away! PSN will have to plan something BIG huh?!?!

The first recorded coach on the website was Herst Mauldin in 1925. Coach Mauldin finished with a 5-2-1 winning record for the season outscoring his opponents 67-20 that year. Geneva would keep a season winning record for 5 straight years, until 1930 when they went 3-5-1 under the leadership of Coach Bully Hitchcock, who then was in his 4th season as the Panther head coach. Notable games that year was a 0-32 trouncing by Samson, a 0-27 loss to Dothan, and a 79-0 victory over Headland, which currently still holds the record for the most points scored in a game by the Panthers.  Just two years after that record setting game, Geneva was demolished by Opp 0-92 to set the record for an opponents’ greatest margin of victory, and also for most points allowed in a game. Let’s hope that last record isn’t broken any time soon!

Geneva’s overall record is 470-450-29, so just over a 50% winning record, but the Region/Area overall record is 120-122, so it also hovers around the 50% mark, though not on the side we would prefer. Geneva has had 81 All state players, and only 1 NFL player, Mr. Siran Stacy.

Geneva’s record against its in county rivals include the longest running Rivalry against Slocomb at 82 games with Geneva winning 50 of those and Slocomb winning 29, with 3 ties between them.

Geneva vs Geneva County shows Geneva leading 41-34-2 overall, and Geneva vs Samson coming in at 47-16-2, giving the Geneva Panthers an all time win record over all three in-county rivals.

Other more recent records are the last time Geneva shutout an opponent, when the Panthers defeated Samson 16-0 on September  21st 2018, and the last time Geneva was shutout, which also occurred in September 2018 with a 0-41 loss to Providence Christian.

Geneva High Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Les Sanders

This year marks Coach Les Sanders’ fifth year at the helm of the Geneva football program, and over his five year tenure he has a 26-23 overall record, and a 14-20 Region Record.

This will be the Panthers’ first trip to the State Playoffs since 2014 where they went to the second round under head Coach Donnie Chesteen where they lost 6-34 against Dale County. Their first round playoff that year was against Aliceville, and the panthers won that game 17-14. Coach Chesteen was the GHS head coach from 1985-1987 and again from 2012-2014. Coach Sanders directly followed him.

Former GHS Head Coach and current Senator, Donnie Chesteen

Thank you to everyone that purchased PSN merchandise!

Thank you everyone…and be sure to wear your PSN swag next week as we head into our trip to Mobile, and the GHS first trip to the playoffs in years!

Our presale is now over, and Derek at Cotton’s Printing will be getting all of that swag ready as soon as possible! If you wanted something and missed your opportunity, you’ll have to contact Cottons’ Printing directly to get anything in for this order.

If you want a short sleeve t-shirt, we do have those and you can buy them directly from any PSN member or at the GHS board office.

Only 5 more days to get your PSN Spirit Store orders in!

PSN Store Grey Gray hoodie
We have hoodies! Our annual two week winter is coming, be prepared in style!

Thanks to Mr. Derek at CottonsPrinting.com, PSN now has an online spirit store. It works like a normal school pre-order, where you pick out what you want now and the entire order is placed at once when the counter hits zero. Just click any item to visit the store.

PSN store yellow tshirt t-shirt
We have gold tees, our most popular color!

This lets him make them in bulk instead of one at a time and keeps his costs down, which in turn keeps our costs down, and thus keeps YOUR cost down as well! Yeah! It’s a win-win! Well…a win-win-win I guess, but anyway, you get the idea.

PSN Store Pink Cap
We have caps! Wouldn’t this just be adorable on you?!?

We have long and short sleeved t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and we now have caps as well! We think they are all reasonably priced and are the perfect way for you to show your awesome support for PSN! And remember, no matter how big your head is, there is a cap to fit you! And if you’re like Coach Crews and like to wear a smedium, well we can probably get one of those as well.

PSN’s Own Ivey Lawson is Student of the Month!

Ivey Lawson, Student of the Month #Representing #PantherPride #PSN

PSN senior member Ivey Lawson has been selected as Student of the Month, sponsored by McDonald’s and our sister station, WTVY! Selections were based upon nominations from teachers at the high school, and PSN is proud this deserving student was selected!

In addition to Ivey’s participation in PSN activities, he is also a member of the Varsity Boys Basketball and Geneva High School Baseball teams.

Congratulations Ivey! You are representing both Geneva High School and PSN and we are proud of your achievement!

On October 8th, 2019, the Velcro Pygmies came to Geneva High School. And they ROCKED!

And the Panther Sports Network was there to bring it to you live and in your face! But, if you weren’t able to watch the PSN live-stream of the concert, have no fear! You can still experience it on our NFHS page. Just click here.

 Velcro Pygmies Geneva High School Reach and Teach
They came, they saw, they ROCKED!

The Velcro Pygmies, hailing from all over the southeast and known for their high-energy rock show performances, are also an instrumental (pardon the pun!) part of an awesome school outreach program called Reach and Teach.

Reach and Teach Velcro Pygmies Geneva High School

What is Reach and teach you ask? Well nothing can say it better than their own website:

“Reach and Teach is an educational program that allows students to plan, promote and execute a concert, giving them hands on experience, which not only teaches content knowledge but also employability skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving. Complete with all lesson plans and resources, Reach and Teach is geared toward career and technical education, specifically business and marketing, and implemented into the daily classroom activities.”

https://www.reachandteach.rocks/about-us
Velcro Pygmies Lead Singer Cam
Velcro Pygmies Lead Singer Cam rocking the crowd!

Through the Reach and Teach program, the marketing and business students and FBLA officers of Geneva High School had an opportunity to learn all aspects of planning and executing this rock show, from garnering sponsors, to designing tickets and merchandise, to assembling the stage. They also could learn about other tangential aspects of organizing productions such as this by doing the backstage catering for the band members and VIP ticket holders, organizing a meet and greet for the show sponsors, and also doing required post production analysis of the success or failure of each part of the endeavor.

Velcro Pygmies Panther Sports Network
If it is too loud, you’re too old!

Though the Reach and Teach program is designed to target all students, it is especially geared to reaching the unique and artistic students that might otherwise not be engaged in normal classroom activities, and gives them an opportunity to use and explore their creative talents that might not be available in a “normal” classroom setting. Music is an artistic endeavor, and producing a full blown rock show gives these students all sorts of opportunities to be creative, from ticket design, t-shirt and merchandise design, set design, etc. All hands on and real world opportunity and experience.

Velcro Pygmies rock the crowd