The Panthers are hoping to do this year what they nearly accomplished last year: qualify for the playoffs.

Potomac Falls made vast improvements in 1998, posting a 6-4 record one year after winning only one game--by forfeit--in its inaugural season.

Potomac Falls has three experienced players on offense in quarterback Tommy Edwards, tackle David Dockendorff and guard Mike Bell; the three seniors are all third-year starters.

But the Panthers' strength should be on defense; Coach Wes Driskill says "the defense could be the best we've ever had."

Seniors Mark Panchura and Nate Weller (5-10, 185) anchor the defensive line in front of a strong group of linebackers.

Junior linebacker Jason Lutman (6-1, 225) led the Panthers in solo tackles (23), first hits (35) and caused fumbles (4) last year, and earned second team all-Concorde District honors.

Senior linebacker Ike Hamilton (6-2, 210) is one of the team's best athletes.

Offense

QB Tommy Edwards (5-10, 150, Sr.)--Edwards has been the Panthers' starting quarterback since the school opened in 1997; this year, he will be pushed for playing time by junior Jason Treon. Edwards, an honorable mention all-Concorde District selection, completed 56 of 121 passes for 931 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Other offensive players to watch: K Greg Kuehn, Jr.; OT David Dockendorff, Sr.; OG Mike Bell, Sr.; OG Kenny Daffron, Sr.; HB Ernest Wilson, Sr.

Defense

DT Mark Panchura (6-4, 278, Sr.)--Panchura improved every week last season after not playing football as a sophomore. He is bigger and stronger than he was last year--and, Driskill hopes, more aggressive as well.

Other defensive players to watch: LB Jason Lutman, Jr.; DE Nate Weller, Sr.; ILB Ike Hamilton, Sr.; DB Jason Treon, Jr.; DE Tom McIntosh, Jr.; LB Chris McKenna, Jr.

* District/Division: Group AA Northwestern/Division 4.

* Coach: Wes Driskill, third season.

* Last year's record: 6-4 overall, 4-3 AAA Concorde District.

* Most recent playoff appearance: None.

* Starters returning (offense/defense): 4/4.

1999 Schedule

Sept. 3

Clarke County, 7:30

Sept. 9

South Lakes, 7:30

Sept. 17

at Jefferson County (W.Va.), 7:30

Sept. 24

at Broad Run, 7:30

Oct. 1

Loudoun County, 7:30

Oct. 8

at Loudoun Valley, 7:30

Oct. 15

Park View, 7:30

Oct. 22

Warren County, 7:30

Oct. 30

at Handley, 1:30

Nov. 5

at Liberty, 7:30

1998 Results

37 at Osbourn Park 7

37 Broad Run 14

28 Jefferson 21

14 at Park View 41

20 Chantilly 37

7 at Centreville 50

27 W.T. Woodson 18

18 at South Lakes 17

7 at Oakton 35

27 Herndon 20

CAPTION: Quarterback Tommy Edwards threw 12 touchdown passes last year.