The Following is a open letter from former Panther Mark Schopp '07 to the current GC Football Team.
When I graduated from Greenville and retired from football I knew that going back as a spectator would be difficult. I thought that as years went on that it would get easier, but as the years do pass by I miss Greenville football more and more. While playing at Greenville I didn't realize what a special thing I was a part of, but now that I'm out in the real world it's very obvious that EMAP football is special.
Those who know me well know that I hate losing and really put a lot of weight on winning. When every aspect of the program's health looks as good as it does now, winning games on the field is a natural outcome. Here are a couple of my observations of the team from the sideline.
When trying to achieve greatness whether it be athletics, academics, relationships, or anything else in life it is important to have a strong and capable leader - that is what EMAP football has with Coach Walker. Coach Walk had been a coach during my entire time at Greenville and was actually my DB coach during my freshman year at Greenville. It's awesome to see how the players look up to Walk as their leader and the influence that he has on them.
There was one point towards the end of the game when Anderson was making a comeback and Coach Walk huddled the entire team. I couldn't tell exactly what he was saying to them, but I would guess that it was something about accepting the challenge that was before them by stepping up and making a play.
To see the guys break that huddle with such excitement and drive to win shows their belief and really made all of us EMAP alums in attendance wish that we were down in that huddle. The guys did step up and make a play, and as one of Walk's former players it was great seeing him get his first win as a head coach.
The first thing that I immediately noticed about the team is that it is much larger than past years. This is the first year that we have enough players to also have a JV schedule which will give players much needed game experience in their younger years. Not only does this show that the program is healthy, but it also shows the hard work that the coaches and players are putting into recruiting during the off season.
The second thing that I noticed pretty quickly (actually I noticed it at the first game this year) is that we are a physical team. Football is a physical sport, so it's good seeing that we like to put people down hard and shows that the players are working in the offseason.
The last thing that I noticed about the guys is that they love to compete and have great attitudes while doing it. You know that we're getting the right guys when we are playing hard and really competing to win, but at the same time not losing sight of the more important EMAP principles.
Greenville's football program has been extremely influential in my life and it is great to see that the program is continuously growing and moving forward. Coach Walk is a great man to have leading the charge and I know for a fact that all the EMAP alums have a ton of faith in him.
As much as I miss playing football at Greenville, it is awesome to know that other guys get an opportunity to play in the same type of atmosphere that I did and grow both as players on the field and men off of the field.
If I could say one thing to the current players it would be take advantage of the opportunity that you've been given and work your butt off - Lift, Run, and Study Film like crazy.
Really commit to the program so that you don't get to the end and wish that you would have done more or worked harder because unfortunately you don't get to do it over - trust me, I would if it was possible.
If I could say one thing to the parents it would be to realize what an awesome situation your kid is in and be thankful that he is getting to be part of something so special that will change his life for the better - there aren't many places in this world that push guys to do the right thing and be better men.
Every week the Greenville College football coaching staff selects one player from each phase of the game to be recognized as a player of the week. This week the winners were David Butler, James Binder, and Luis Diaz.
Offensive Player of the Week: Senior OT David Butler ( West Frankfort, IL ) was dominating against the Raven defense. His play allowed the Panthers to rush for 372 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Week: Senior CB James Binder ( Stockton, CA ) received the award for his two game changing plays on Saturday. On special teams Binder blocked a punt and on defense he had his first interception of the season.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Freshman K/P Luis Diaz made 2 of 3 field goals on Saturday as well as all 5 of his PAT attempts. Two of his three punts were inside the 20-yard line and his longest punt was 50 yards. He also had eight kickoffs with an average of 61.4 yards per kick.
The first win of the Ordell Walker era happened on Saturday as the Greenville College Panthers (1-1) held off a late run to beat the Anderson University Ravens (0-2) 41-35. Anthony Ambers (Apple Valley, CA) carried the Panthers to victory with an amazing day running the ball for 252 yards on 30 attempts.
The first of Amber’s four touchdowns came in the second quarter and put the Panthers up 14-7. After a 32 yard field goal by freshman kicker Luis Diaz (Santa Anna, CA) Ambers closed out the first half with a two yard touchdown run. The half ended with the Panthers up 24-13.The third quarter only saw one score, a 14 yard run by Ambers. After the third quarter the Panthers were up 31-13 over the Ravens.
In the fourth Anderson competed like crazy and outscored Greenville 22-10. The Ravens ran out of time to complete the comeback and Greenville held on for a victory.
A pass heavy offense, the Ravens found balance against the Panthers by running the ball 34 times for 137 yards. Defensive Coordinator Jake Schenk said about the game, “I am happy with the result, but we did not play our best game defensively. We are young and we need to learn how to play at our highest level every play for four quarters.”
The Panther defensive was led by junior LB Kiso Faletufuga (San Diego, CA) with 9 tackles and junior safety Andy Lozano (Desert Hot Springs, CA) with 7 tackles and an INT. Defensive linemen Jordan Cernek (Clinton, WI) and EJ Fridge (Cahokia, IL) had one sack each. Senior CB James Binder (Stockton, CA) had the other INT for the Panthers.
Diaz finished the game 2-3 for field goals and 5-5 on PAT’s.
Next week the Panthers will play their first road game traveling to Albion College (Albion, Michigan) on Saturday September 18th for a 12PM CST kickoff. The Britons (0-2) are still looking for their first win after losing to Wheaton College (Ill.) 17-6 last Saturday.
Working with College students you get used to good byes. Every year there is a group that leaves, and a group that comes in. Perhaps it's a coping mechanism, but as a coach's wife I'm to the point where I'm ok with the goodbyes. I'll admit, they often are tear filled, but going to a wedding, hearing about that first amazing job, and sometimes even getting to see a new first apartment make it worth the sadness.
Last season was filled with an extra goodbyes as we said goodbye not only to an amazing class of seniors, but their parents as well. EMAP has been blessed in past years to have the support of EPAPP (Every Parent a Panther Parent).
The group, started by parents of Alum Seth England and Trenton Dahnke and continued on by many other parents including those of alums Kenyon Klousia and the Garret Young spoiled our team with baked goods, dinners after games, special buffet dinners on long road trips an amazing cheering section at both home AND away games, and mostly listening ears, arms that hugged each player, and powerful, faithful prayers.
At graduation this past May we hugged seniors said our goodbyes, hugged parents, said our goodbyes, and smiled at promises to see us next season. Imagine my delight today to see a whole section of parents who were mostly those of alum, one of whom took it upon himself to lead a cheer for the crowd each and every time our Panthers scored. Mr. Klousia, you sir, ROCK!
PS-For those of you wondering what has become of EPAPP these days, it is taking on a new form, of generous parents who have provided yummy baked goods and water after games, fruit at half time for the locker room, and upcoming team dinners Fridays before the game.
We continue to be wrapped in prayer, support and encouragement. We are grateful for EVERY generous offer of time, energy, food and prayer for we know our players are blessed by it. If you are interested in learning how you can further help our team this season email me firstname.lastname@example.org
The holiday weekend was a mixed bag for the Greenville College Panthers with a loss on Friday and a win on Monday.
The season opener was a bit of a letdown on Friday night they fell to Augustana College 28-7. The Panthers fell behind early and never recovered. In the 3rd quarter Greenville scored on a 80 yard pass from SR QB Joel Lira ( Lubbock, TX ) to SO WR Ryan Boezeman ( DeMotte, IN ).
Monday the Junior Varsity traveled to Westminster College and won 35-14. The Panthers were led by FR RB Justin Honeycutt (Wabash, IN) who rushed for two scores the second a 75 yard run. Freshmen Tahir Williams (Sacramento, CA) and Cody Gaesser (Gibson City, IL) had TD catches in the game. Drew Bland ( Pana, IL) scored the first defensive touchdown of the season with his INT for a TD in the 4th quarter.
The next game for the Panthers is Saturday September 11th at 1PM against Anderson University. You can relive Panther games by going here.
After months of training, recruiting, working and waiting the 2010 college football season is here! Friday September 3rd the Greenville College Panthers will host the Vikings from Augustana College at District 7 Stadium in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Kickoff is 7PM CST and this is the first game for each team. Fans should note that the parking at the stadium and admission is free. The game is being held at a off-campus site because of complications with the new grass at Greenville’s Francis Field.
For those not able to attend this game don’t worry, you will still be able to watch your Panthers in action. For the first year Greenville will have games streamed LIVE! All you have to do is go here and click the Watch Live icon.