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Last Update: 02-03-2018 

The Panther football records have been updated through the 2017 season.

DeWitt, MI (1/28/2018): Extra points. How many times during a season do you see a team lose by one point? Or miss a two point conversion? Or have to go for two every time because they don't have a good kicker? Quite often.

Well, there is quite a bit to it. The Panthers just make it look easy as pie, no problem, just a formality, automatic. First your team has to score a touchdown. DeWitt did that 60 times this year. 65 times last season. Then, while the band is playing "DeWitt Forever' and the fire is buring from the Panther and the siren going off and everyone high fiving another TD, you have 30 seconds to get the extra point team onto the field, line up, snap the ball and kick it through. It is all timing. The snap has to be right on the money. The holder has to catch it cleanly and set down on the block perfectly upright. The kicker has to kick it true. He has to get it up quick enough to carry 8 feet over defense that is 21 feet away at the time of the snap. He is 60 feet way from the goal post and has to kick it at least 10 feet high to clear the cross bar. And, the uprights are 23 feet four inches apart so he has to kick it accurately.

All that in 1.8 seconds. Yep, that is the optimum time for an extra point from the snap to the kick, 1.8 seconds. Any longer and chances are better than good that it will be blocked by an onrushing defensive lineman. Oh, and the kicker has to focus on the block and start his movement at the instant of the snap. Or, one of those fast little guys coming in from the side. If you do...

Senior Jack Horan. Mr. Automatic. No problem. Just click one more point on the scoreboard, no since in waiting. Just ring it up. Easy as that. No problem. Just a formality. Jack lined up to do that 57 times this season. Three times DeWitt went for two, twice against GR Catholic and once against Linden. Fifty six times it went perfectly. Well, he only gets credit for fifty five. He made one against Linden and twice they backed the Panthers up for penalties. He then hit the crooked left upright after they backed him up 15 additional yards. The next was blocked. So, for 2017, Jack and Panther extra point altteam, success 57 out of 55 times.

When asked about his practice routine by DeWittFootball.org, Jack had this to say:

I practiced during team practice for about an hour or more on my own, and then Thursday practice we kicked as a full unit with snapper and holder for the first 15 minutes, and then I would go continue practicing on my own for an hour +. If I had a bad week of practice or a bad game I would go to our game field and kick by myself with my block and practice holder for at least an hour. Every day I kicked about 25 PATs and 50 field goals (or more). So per week I would kick about 125 PATs and 250 field goals. Anytime I felt I needed improvement I wouldn't stop kicking until I felt I was at my own standards! 

In 2016, he made 59 of 64 with four blocked. He only missed once that season. Only twice in his career he missed. For his career, Horan was 114 of 121, missed two with five blocked. In CAAC games he was 57 of 60 and 4 of 4 for field goals. Overall he was five of six on field goal attempts with a long of 38 yards. He made his mark in the season record book and the career record book at DeWitt.

He will be a tough one to replace next season. Congratulations, Jack.  

Anatomy of an extra point

Smith waits for Horan to be ready and to start cadence.

Smith gets a perfect snap from Adam Stone.

Smith sets the ball on the block. Horan is already moving.

Ball is set. Heads are down.

Ball on the block perfectly and foot planted.

Focus still on the block by holder and kicker.

The follow through.

Special thanks to Michelle Joseph for such great pictures.  Click on each picture for full size.

DeWitt, MI (1-14-2018): Ok. So. The DeWitt Panthers have won twelve consecutive conference championships. The Panthers started in the CAAC III in 2003 when the Ingham County League was disbanded. In 2007, they went to the CAAC Gold and CAAC Red in 2011. Due to Capital Area Activities Conference realignment, the Panthers will be moved to the large school Blue Division for the 2018 season.

What happens next year? Who will the Panthers play?

Well, it is who DeWitt does not play that may be the current buzz. Long time rivals Haslett and St. Johns are not longer on the schedule, not even the non-conference schedule. The Vikings are the team DeWitt has played the most over the years at 47 times. Local US-127 bragging rights with St. Johns, 26 times, is done for a bit anyway. Charlotte and Mason will no longer be on the Panther schedule for the upcoming season. Mason and DeWitt played 25 times over the years, some in the CAAC Red the past few years, some non-conference in the 90s and other games in the old Capital Circuit League in the 70s and 80s.

So, this is the Panther 2018 schedule.

Thursday August 23: Grand Rapids Christian (Home): The second half of the home and home contract with Christian will be at DeWitt. The two played a couple of great games last season with the Eagles winning the 2017 season opener on the turf at Grand Rapids and DeWitt defeating Christian in the playoffs.

Thursday August 30, Walled Lake Northern (H): From the Lakes Valley Conference the Northern Knights have made the playoffs three of the last five seasons. A relatively new school, founded in 2003 as a new high school in the rapidly grown area of north of Novi.

*Friday, September 7, Okemos (H): The Panthers start the CAAC Blue conference with the Chieftans. These two nearby schools last played a non-conference game in 2006. The two schools have played 14 times mostly in the old Capital Circuit League in the 70s and 80s. Last season the Chieftans started 4-0 under former Fowlerville coach Jack Wallace. In game five, Okemos lost a close one to Grand Ledge 28-20 and then lost three of the next four to miss the playoffs.

*Friday, September 14, Holt (H): This will be the first ever meeting on the football field between the Panthers and Rams. Holt is historically a power in Lansing's large school division battling with Grand Ledge and East Lansing for the top spot.

*Friday, September 21, East Lansing (A): These two schools have played some fantastic football games over the last dozen years in the playoffs. The 2007 game featuring Panther QB Dan VanDruemel vs Trojan running back Isaac Harper, the 2008 drubbing of the Panthers, the 2010 come from behind win for DeWitt at EL with Caleb Higbie's late TD run down the western sideline. Always a rugged game.

*Friday, September 28, Lansing Everett (H): These two schools split non-conference games in 2011 and 2012.

*Friday, October 5, Grand Ledge (A): Wow, two great games these two teams have played the last two years. The Comets won the first meeting 28-21 two years ago and DeWitt squeaked out a 14-7 win last season. The Comets have owned the CAAC Blue for the last three years without losing a conference game. Always in the hunt with East Lansing and Holt.

Friday, October 12, St. Joseph (A): The Bears are from the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference and in the same conference with Portage Northern. The Bears have made the Division 3 playoffs eight of the last ten years including the last three consecutive.

Friday, October 19, Lansing Waverly: The Warriors are the only CAAC conference team DeWitt will play in 2018 only this will be a non-conference game.

*Notes a CAAC Blue conference game.

DeWitt, MI (01-08-2018): The 2017 DeWitt football season came to a close Monday evening with the annual football banquet at St. Judes Church in DeWitt.

Kof C with another great team meal.

Fifty-four Panthers were honored at the banquet including twenty seven seniors. As Coach Zimmerman noted in his remarks, this is the largest team he has had at DeWitt in his 18 years.

Close to 200 players, coaches and families enjoyed another fantastic meal prepared by the Knights of Columbus. Then the evening was turned over to awards, and there were many. School Board President Mark Kellogg and Vice-President Cliff Flood made the first presentation with a certificate to all players with a proclimation to the team from the DeWitt School Board on an outstanding season.

The next presentation was by Coach Phil Wilson. Coach Wilson presented the 2017 All Academic Team with plaques as they honored DeWitt with being named the top team in the State of Michigan. The Panthers had the highest GPA in the State at 3.97 based on the third and fourth marking periods of the prior year. A record twenty six players submitted their credentials to be part of the academic team. Only the top eleven could be used. An outstanding tribute the young gentlemen, their instructors and their families.

The twenty-six juniors and one sophomore were announced and provided football certificates. Then, Coach Zimmerman introduced each of the seniors and noted their accomplishments on and off the field. Coach always does an outstanding job of recognizing each and every senior on his squad.

Four year recipients: Anthony Joseph, Edward Beyer, Ben Ruegsegger, Kade Preston, Michael Wilkinson, Darron Weber, Nick Flower, Alex Flower, Jack Lovejoy, Josh Johnson, Nick Krause, Evan Sparling, Logan Frenczili, Nick Goerge, Nick Vanis, Chase Benner, Jacob Hood, Teddy Samra, Jacob Chambers and Zack Shantry.

Team Award: Jacob Hood, Alex Flower, Nick Krause and Ben Ruesegger. SISU: Caleb Aungst, Anthony Joseph, Edward Beyer and Kade Preston.
SMUK: Darron Weber Iron Man: Michael Joseph
Mr. Intensity: Darron Weber Scholar Athlete: Alan Smith
Captains: Jacob Chambers, Anthony Joseph, Adam Stone and Alan Smith Scout Team Player of the Year: Josh Robinson
Most Improved: Blake Gatfield Special Teams Player of the Year: Derek Hamp
Outstanding Lineman: Evan Sparling Offensive MVP: Noah Koenigschnecht
Defensive MVP: Alan Smith Media and Conference Selections


The Villages, FL (01-14-2018): The DeWitt community has lost long time educator and coach Larry Baird. Larry was a long time teacher at DeWitt High School and member of the community. He was head coach of the Panther football team in 1979. However, Larry made his coaching name on the softball diamond with a hall of fame career that spanned 29 years. He was in the first class elected to the DeWitt Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 , elected to the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Assoiation Hall of Fame in 1999 and is in the coaching record books for the Michigan High School Athletic Association. He coached many great players during his tenure or should we say developed many great players. He touched so many during his time at DeWitt.

To his family and friends, he will be missed.

DeWitt, MI (1-11-2018):  DeWittFootball.org and the DeWitt Panther Coaching staff would like to congratulate DeWitt's Ryan Anderson on being named to All-Big-10 First Team as a punter for the 2017 football season by the media as well as the coaches.  Ryan punts for Rutgers in the Big-10 East Division and named the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the year. Not just a football player, Ryan also excels in the class room and earned Academic All-American First-Team status this season. Anderson was also a two time All-MIAA Conference, two time All-American as the punter for Olivet College and Academic All-American. His 46.2 yards per punt average set a record for Division III and was sixth in the country for all divisions in 2016.

This season, Ryan averaged 44.4 yards per punt, best in the Big-10  and 12th nationally

Ryan's senior season at DeWitt in 2012, he punted 52 times for a 39.7 average with 14 of the punts landing inside the 20 yard line. He was also a pretty darn fair receiver with 80 receptions for 1,221 yards and 16 touchdowns.

What is Ryan up to now? He is working at a gym in Arizona, lifting six days a week and working with punting coach and five time NFL Pro-Bowl punter Rich Camarillo. There are combines coming in February where NFL scouts will watch Ryan and other specialists. Of course, he is hoping to catch a scout's eye and sign with an NFL team.

DeWittFootball.org caught up with a busy Ryan Anderson recently and he shared some thoughts with us.

How did the decision come to move from Olivet in Division III to Division I Rutgers?

 Growing up in Michigan, I always watched Big Ten football. Naturally, that was always a goal of  mine to fulfill and finishing up my Senior year in the classroom at Olivet, I realized I could potentially make that dream a reality. It was extremely humbling to be able to make the transition that I did and fulfill a lifelong dream of mine. I was able to go perform on the biggest state and gain further exposure which was my reasoning for leaving Olivet and transferring to Rutgers for my last season.

What was it like to progress from high school on Friday nights to Saturdays in the MIAA and the Big-10?

There were a lot of differences between playing at all three levels. Naturally, playing in the Big Ten is a different animal, but at the end of the day, I had a job to do at all three schools. That did not change no matter where I was or how big the game was. I really enjoyed being able to make the jump from D3 to D1 and be able to play at the highest level on some of college football's biggest stages. It was extremely rewarding to see all of the work I have put in pay off in that regard.

Speaking of big stages, were there any stadiums or games that may have stuck in your memory?

Growing up in Michigan, I would have to say playing at Michigan Stadium was the most humbling/fulfilling stadium I played in. However, the best atmosphere game that I played was at Nebraska. Being able to play at Penn State is also something I will never forget and of course playing at home at Rutgers is something that I will forever carry with me.

What is next for DeWitt's Ryan Anderson?

I am currently living in Arizona for the next couple of months to train for the NFL. These next five months, I will be training as hard as I can and will do everything I can to make the NFL. I will have my pro day in March, some specialists combines in February and other workouts throughout the months. Come next fall, I hope to be on an NFL team somewhere.

Well, Ryan, you have a lot of folks cheering for you here in DeWitt. Good luck and keep us updated.

Meanwhile, enjoy this video from Ryan's high school season.

"DeWitt Forever".





5 - 0

10 - 2


4 - 1

8 - 3

St. Johns

3 - 2

5 - 4


2 - 3

4 - 5


1 - 4

2 - 7


0 - 5

2 -7

*2017 Playoff Qualifier

Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on the Panther and GR Christian game.
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on the Panther and Grand Ledge game.
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on the Panther and Mason game.
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on DeWitt at Charlotte game.
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on the Panther and Waverly game.
Please enjoy Mike McKeons'a recap of the Panther and Redwing game
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on the Panther win over Haslett
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's recap of the Panther win at Linden.
Please enjoy Mike McKeon's article on the Panthers win over Portage Northern

Please enjoy Mike McKeon's artcile on the Panthers playoff win over GR Christian









*Click on icon to view team  information, 2009-2017.

Panther Profiles:

DeWitt, MI (Fall 2015): Many players have had the opportunity to move on from high school football to the college game from DeWitt High School. Recently, DeWittFootball.org had the opportunity to catch up with Ryan Anderson. Ryan was a receiver for the DeWitt 2011 and 2012 teams. Ryan was accepted to play football for Saginaw Valley State University, following in the steps of several other Panthers, including Caleb Higbie and Jason Fleet. Ryan played at SVSU for two seasons and now plays for Olivet College.

Please click here to

DeWitt, MI (Winter 2015): Recently DeWittFootball.org had the opportunity to catch up with Paul Jorgensen. Paul was one of the most talented players to play for DeWitt and was an integral part of the success of the program from 2007 through 2009. A two way lineman for the Panthers, he played the “blind side” left tackle on offense and end on defense. 

Please click here to

The DeWitt Panthers have played a lot of great games over the years, but perhaps none as exciting at the 2012 Division 3 District Championship game at Linden.

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Please send inquiries and comments to info@DeWittFootball.org