You would be hard-pressed to find a football program in the state of Iowa that is undergoing more of a change than the Kingsley-Pierson football team is this season. The Panthers are making the jump back to 11-man for the first time since 2009, they joined a sharing agreement with River Valley, and they have a new head coach for this season. Dean Norris is the new man in charge of this new look program and says the kids have been very receptive of the changes.
The jump to 11-man from eight-man brings the obvious change of three extra guys on the field on both sides of the ball. Coach Norris says offensively that changes things for his offensive line, and defensively it changes how they look at zones with regards to the secondary and linebackers.
The cooperative sharing agreement between the two schools can also bring about its own challenges. The team is coached by personnel from River Valley, but the majority of the players are from Kingsley-Pierson. Coach Norris says the team spent a lot of time in the offseason on team-building activities to make sure chemistry is not an issue.
The Panthers do not return a lot offensively, but they are returning their leader in quarterback Beau Goodwin. Goodwin threw for over 2000 yards and 30 touchdowns while running for nearly another 500 yards and six touchdowns last year. Coach Norris says he is the perfect combination of talent and work ethic.
Last year, the Kingsley-Pierson defense had its troubles holding only two teams under 20 points during the season. Coach Norris says the Panthers have some speed that they will utilize in the secondary to be a tough team to face off against.
The upside of all the changes means an extra boost of depth that allows the Panthers to put together a strong team. Coach Norris has seen that in the competitiveness of some early position battles.
Kingsley-Pierson gets a home contest to get back into the 11-man swing of things when they take on Alta-Aurelia. Coach Norris hopes to utilize the Panthers’ speed in what could be a very high-scoring season opener.
Kickoff between the Panthers and Warriors will be at 7:00 PM on Friday in Kingsley.
Click here to listen to our full interview with Kingsley-Pierson head football coach Dean Norris:
2023 KINGSLEY-PIERSON FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
August 25 – ALTA-AURELIA
September 1 – LOGAN-MAGNOLIA *
September 8 – at Westwood *
September 15 – ST. ALBERT *
September 22 – at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
September 29 – WOODBURY CENTRAL *
October 6 – at West Monona *
October 13 – at Tri-Center *
* – denotes Class A District 8 game