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.
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.