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Panther's new OC a familiar face
Julian Stokes returns as the lead quarterback for the Panthers. Stokes started playing at the position while still a freshman when the starting quarterback was injured. - photo by Photo by Patty Leon/Coastal Courier


Pre-season glimpse of the Panthers

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The Liberty County Panthers' football squad starts the season with a new offensive coordinator managing the team's direction. This new coach however, has a familiar face.
In his third year as a member of the LCHS football staff, Jeff Dafrron has been named offensive coordinator, a position that became open when former coordinator and baseball coach, Steve Cotrell moved from Hinesville to Athens.
It's Daffron's 26th year as a football coach. He started coaching while living in north Georgia.
"I enjoy it here," the new OC said. "It's a great coaching staff and we are just having a good time."
As Daffron walked across the practice field assessing his players he said the offensive strategy would not be changing just because they are facing new regional opponents this season.
"We are not changing because of the teams we are playing we are changing our offense a little bit to go with the personnel and the kids we have playing this year," he said. "We are probably more of a shotgun spread offense that is going to look at running and throwing a little more. By the time we get to those teams in our region everybody would have played roughly five or six games already. So we will have an opportunity to see what they are like just as they will see what we do. It's not so much a surprise as it is if you had to play one of them in week one."
Daffron said they graduated several starting linemen last season but their back up players are returning as seniors with plenty of game experience from their varsity or junior varsity games last year.
"I don't see that area as a weak point," he said.
He said their skilled players like the running backs and receivers have a lot of talent.
"If we can get it and pull it together we will be doing good," he said. "Julian Stokes is only a junior and he got a lot of experience (as quarterback) last year and I think that is going to pay off for us this year."
Faced with the possibility of opening their first home game on their new field the coach said.
"They (the players) are excited about it as is the coaching staff," he said. "We got to see the process and progress and we are excited about having a place to call our own and have some pride in."

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