Starring: FB Anthony Baldwin, LB Jarell Ennis, DL Brandon Nash, QB Judd Vail

Directed By: Jim Esposito (third season)

WHAT'S THE PLOT? Not only is this SMAC newcomer talented, it is unpredictable -- only Calvert has faced the Panthers.

Cautiously optimistic, the Panthers are hoping to make waves in their first year of conference play on the varsity level. What Patuxent lacks is depth; it will field only about 30 varsity players. But if the Panthers can stay injury-free, they could cause problems for some of the league's top teams -- including Westlake, which they don't face until Week 9. Leading the charge is Vail (6-0, 175), who has recovered completely from an ankle injury that sidelined him toward the end of the last season. With Vail back -- and healthy -- Esposito said the Panthers will look to showcase their passing more this season than they did last year. The Panthers lost top running backs Randy Belt and Ryan Naegele to graduation, but have confidence in their replacements: Baldwin (6-1, 185) at fullback and Terry Caulley (5-7, 160) at tailback. Baldwin, a senior, and Caulley, a sophomore, will run behind an offensive line that averages more than 235 pounds per player. Junior Patrick Martin and senior Chris Graham -- also a standout guard on the Patuxent basketball team -- will serve as the team's top two receivers. The Panthers are equally strong on defense, particularly against the run up front, where juniors Nash (6-2, 270) and Brian Johnson (6-3, 245) join seniors Travis Blundell (5-10, 215) and Mark Wallace (5-7, 320) on the line. Patuxent also returns Ennis (6-2, 225), a three-year starter, and senior Derek Pessagna at linebacker. Baldwin heads the team's secondary unit.

1999 Show Times

Sept. 3 at McDonough 7:00

Sept. 9 at Leonardtown 7:30

Sept. 17 at Southern 7:00

Sept. 24 CHOPTICON 7:30

Oct. 1 at La Plata 7:30

Oct. 8 NORTHERN 7:30

Oct. 15 at Thomas Stone 7:30

Oct. 22 at Calvert 7:30

Oct. 29 WESTLAKE 7:30

Nov. 5 GREAT MILLS 7:30

1998 in Review

Last year's record: 6-4 (played independent schedule)

Game-by-Game Results

28 Calvert 21

21 Surrattsville 14

21 Spalding 12

3 Fort Hill 35

15 Forestville 22

45 Northeast 8

36 South River 35

20 Fairmont Heights 14

13 Parkdale 36

14 Central 35