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Last Update: 05-31-2016

Panther News and Notes:

DeWitt, MI (5-10-2016): The DeWitt Panther schedule for 2016 has been released and it promises to be a very exciting season. The Panthers will say so-long to some old foes and hello to some new foes.

Week 1 (8/25): The Panthers start the season with the Linden Eagles at Linden and another great matchup is expected. Linden coach Denny Hopkins team loves to spread the offense out and always has some great athletes on the edge to get the ball to. Hopkins has been selected as the head coach for the west team in the 2016 East-West All-Star Game held at Saginaw Valley State University this summer.  

Week 2 (9/1): A much shorter trip this season for week 2, rather than Kingsford. In one of the most anticipated games in the Lansing area, DeWitt, the defending CAAC Red champion will travel to the defending CAAC Blue champion Grand Ledge Comets in a CAAC crossover game. The Comets and Panthers have a four year deal. Last season, the Comets went to the Division I semi-finals and a 13-1 record. A number of players from that team will return for Coach Matt Bird and his high powered offense. 

Week 3 (9/9): The Panthers start the defense of their 11th consecutive CAAC Red League Title against the Lansing Waverly Warriors at DeWitt. Warrior Coach Anthony Walker will bring perhaps the most dangerous team in the CAAC Red as Waverly has many three year starters and very athletic backs and receivers. After a first half struggle last season, the Panthers finally put away Waverly in the second half.

Week 4 (9/16): DeWitt will travel to Mason to face Jerry VanHavel's rebuilt offense. Gone is all-league QB Jarret VanHavel but the Bulldogs will reload and be a strong contender to knock the Panthers from the top spot. Mason always has a very physical team and strong defense.

Week 5 (9/23): The Panthers host the Owosso Trojans and their much improved squad. Coach Bryan Carpenter will have his young team hungry for CAAC Red victories this season.

Week 6 (9/30): DeWitt hosts Haslett with Coach Charlie Otlewski. 

Week 7 (10/7): DeWitt travels to St. Johns for the game that always seems to be a winner-take-all for the league championship. Coach Dave Mariage will have this year's RedWings primed. Last season, DeWitt and St. Johns split their two games, the Panthers winning big in the regular season and RedWings winning big in the playoffs. A very unpredictable game.

Week 8 (TBD): The Panthers host traditional UP and State power Menominee Maroons. Last season, DeWitt crossed the Bridge and on a cold night in the UP, Menominee came back to beat the Panthers late in the game in a game that saw several lead changes. Thousands "watched" that game via Twitter. Menominee went undefeated until the regional finals where they ran into eventual State champion GR West Catholic. This season, Coach Joe Noha brings the single wing to Mid-Michigan in what promises to be another barn burner of a game.

Week 9 (10/21): Fruitport will no longer be on the schedule due to a change in their conference arrangement, so DeWitt will be traveling to Portage Northern to face the Huskies of the rugged Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference (Big16 West). Last season Coach Peter Schermerhorn's team lost four games by a total of 16 points.

Make sure you get your Panther Gear early at the Ox Roast and get your season passes for what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons in Panther football.

Mt. Pleasant, MI (4-25-2016): Like many other colleges and universities, the spring practice season is winding down. One bright spot for the Central Michigan Chippewas is finding a good back up for fifth year senior quarterback Cooper Rush (Lansing Catholic). And, the Chippewas may have found just that guy in another Lansing area quarterback, Jake Johnson of DeWitt. The resdhirted freshman, Johnson, had an outstanding day at CMU's Maroon and Gold game last weekend. Please click here to enjoythe article from the Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun.

Johnson's teammate on the Chippewa team is former Panther standout receiver Justice Shenkel. He is getting some great reps on the scout team.

Fire Up Chips!

Ann Arbor, MI (3-12-2016): DeWittFootball.org would like to congratulate Panther Coach Rob Zimmerman on his induction into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame at ceremonies at Chrysler Arena. Rob, along with thirteen other outstanding coaches, were inducted into the Hall Saturday, March 12. Rob's good friend, Noel Dean of Lowell, was also inducted.

His record (168-37) and accomplishments are excellent at DeWitt, Since Rob's first year at DeWitt in 1999, his teams have missed the playoffs only once, have won 13 of 16 conference championships as well as the last 10 in a row and four appearances in the MHSAA State Finals. Ten of his teams have been named Academic All-State. Nine of his players have been selected for the High School All-Star games and he himself selected as the West Head Coach in 2009. Over four dozen players have move into the college ranks. A number of his players have stepped into the coaching ranks including several currently on his staff; Dave Schoonover ('01), Brandon Rennaker ('07),  Collin Rennaker ('12), Ethan Rennaker ('12), and Andy Joslyn ('04). Josh Boutwell ('08) is a coach at Mt. Pleasant High school. Kendall Crockett ('99) is head coach at Morrice, Tony Sigmon ('01) is the head coach at Whitehall and Tyler Wellman ('04) is the offensive coordinator at Lakeland College.

Please click here to view Rob's acceptance speech.

Congratulations, Rob. An honor well deserved.


Jackson, MI (3-12-2016): The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association has selected the rosters for the 2016 All-Star game to be played at Saginaw Valley State University this summer. The Panther's outstanding receiver Evan Conn has been named to the West squad. Evan is the 9th DeWitt player named to the All-Star event.

Additional details on the game will be published here when they are made available.

Congratulations, Evan, from DeWittFootball.org.


DeWitt, MI (02-03-2016): It was national signing day for football players to officially commit to colleges and universities all over America. Coach Rob Zimmerman was honored to have two players today commit to continue to pursue their football careers and, more important, the opportunity for a wonderful education.

Austin Ryan has signed with Division III Lakeland College of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference located in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Ryan was a 6', 210lbs linebacker for the Panthers this past season. He moved from St. Johns and stepped right into an outside linebacker position for DeWitt. And he was a great addition to the Panther defense who won their 10th consecutive conference championship.

Austin had 36 solo tackles and 16 assists this past season and a sack for 53 total tackles. He also caused a fumble and had an interception. Coach Zimmerman noted of Ryan "we are very excited for Austin to continue his playing career at Lakeland College in Wisconsin. Austin is a great young man and possess a great work ethic that will be invaluable at the college level. Austin was recruited by Tyler Wellman, a former Panther standout player that now serves as the Offensive Coordinator at Lakeland".

Austin is joining a program that made the Division 3 playoffs last year and finished 8-3 and won the NACC.  Go Muskies!    


Evan Conn has signed with Wayne State University in Detroit. Wayne State is in the rugged Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The 6'5, 235 lbs receiver will probably convert to tight end from his split end position with DeWitt. Conn was the force behind the Panther passing game, with the speed to go deep, the leaping ability and frame to go after passes in the corner of the end zone and the size and toughness to be a ball control receiver. Blessed with outstanding hands, many of his catches drew oohs and aahs from the large crowds.

Evan had 56 receptions for the Panthers for 801 yards and 14 touchdowns. When Coach Zimmerman shifted to a run formation, he was a devastating blocker at the tight end position. Evan received All-State recognition from the Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and was a member of the Lansing State Journal Dream Team as well from the CAAC coaches. Of his play at DeWitt, Coach Zimmerman said of Conn, "Evan was a great player for us this past fall. He has all the tools to be an excellent tight end at the collegiate level. We are very excited for him to be able to continue his athletic career at Wayne State and to be able to attend an institution with an outstanding academic reputation as well."

The Warriors finished 6-5 last season. Evan is no stranger to Wayne State as the Panthers have won the Warrior 7-on-7 tournament for two straight years.

Please enjoy the press release from Wayne State University.


DeWittFootball.org and the entire Panther football family wish Austin and Evan well with their education and football career.

DeWitt, MI (01-04-2016): The DeWitt Football records have been updated to include the 2015 season. Please click here to review the records.

The DeWitt Panthers had a great season as a team. They captured their 10th consecutive conference championship, extended the streak of consecutive conference wins to 38 and 49 out of the last 50, finished the regular season 8-1 and made the playoffs for the 16th time in the past 17 years. As a team, they achieved much and continued the tradition that has become DeWitt Football. In the post season recognition, the Panthers also did very well. Perhaps the most satisfying is the fourth consecutive year as an Academic All-State team, and 10th since 1999.

Here is a list of the post season awards for the 2015 season:

Associated Press All-State

First Team Punter – Will Nagel

Special Mention All-Purpose – JD Ross

Honorable Mention Receiver – Evan Conn

Honorable Mention Kicker – Matthew Meagher

Honorable Mention Defensive Line – Brandon Martinez


Detroit Free Press All-State

Honorable Mention Receiver – Evan Conn

Honorable Mention Defensive Back – JD Ross


Detroit News All-State

First Team Punter – Will Nagel

Honorable Mention Receiver – Evan Conn

Honorable Mention Defensive Lineman – Branden Martinez

Honorable Mention Defensive Back – JD Ross

Honorable Mention Specialist – Will Nagel

Honorable Mention Kicker – Matthew Meagher


Lansing State Journal Dream Team

Wide Receiver – Evan Conn

Defensive Back – JD Ross

Punter - Will Nagel 


Lansing State Journal All-Area

Receiver – ShonQuise Trainor

Offensive Line – Cameron Feguer

Defensive Line – Brandon Martinez

Kicker – Matthew Meagher

Defensive Line – Cade Skaar

Defensive Back – Shane Cullen



Lansing State Journal Honorable Mention

Defensive Line – Matthew Hummell

Linebacker – Michael Stygles

Defensive Back – Chase McPhee


Academic All-State

First Team – Brian Fedewa


CAAC Red Division All-League First Team

RB – JD Ross

WR – Evan Conn

WR – Shonquise Trainor

K – Matthew Meagher

OL – Brian Fedewa

OL – Cameron Fegeur

DL – Brandon Martinez

DL – Cade Skaar

DL – Matthew Hummel

LB – Michael Stygles

DB – Shane Cullen

P – Will Nagel



CAAC Red Division All-League Honorable Mention

OL – Cade Skaar

TE – Zane Froelich

LB – JD Ross

LB – Collin Smith

DB- Chase McPhee



Waco, TX. (12-14-2015): DeWitt's Ryan Anderson of Olivet College, has been named to the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division 3 All-American team as a punter for the 2015 season. Please click here to read the release from Olivet College. 

Anderson was a Lansing State Journal Dream Team receiver and CAAC Red All-Conference punter his senior season (2012) with the Panthers. He punted 75 times for DeWitt in 2011-12 for 2,996 yards and a 39.5 average with 20 punts inside the 20 yard line. His longest punt was 62 yards, twice.

When DeWitt Coach Rob Zimmerman heard of Anderson being named to the All-American team, he stated "We are incredibly proud of Ryan. He was an excellent player for us and extremely driven to succeed. He is also such a great character guy that it makes us even more proud to say he was one of ours."  

This year, Ryan also caught one pass for a touchdown against Earlham, Indiana.  

Congratulations again to Ryan. Please enjoy Ryan's Panther Profile below.

Lansing, MI (10-12-2015): Brandon "Beanie" Howell has written a nice article for TheGame730AM. Please click here to enjoy.

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.

Please click here to



2015 CAAC Red Division Champs

Tenth Consecutive Conference Championship







Please send inquiries and comments to info@DeWittFootball.org