Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

July 12, 2012

Couch anxious to follow Antle’s winning formula

FOYIL — The winning tradition that former Foyil Panthers head football coach Rick Antle created back in the glory days, first-year coach Wade Couch hopes to continue in 49 days at McGregor Field.

Antle and Panther Football have been linked together for many years when people talked about success on the gridiron in the small town of Foyil.

For nine years from 1990-1999, the Panthers were a force to reckon with in eight-man football under Antle’s coaching. He led the Panthers to five district titles and five trips to the state semifinals. The Panthers also won the state title once during Antle’s tenure.

“Coach (Rick) Antle knows football and turned Foyil into a small-school powerhouse,” Couch said. “Being from Adair and watching Antle during my coaching stint at Sallisaw Central, I knew the program was going in the right direction.

“The people of Foyil love high school football and they love a winner.”

Couch added that the players response was exciting when he met his 2012 Panthers team and that they were ready to start two-a-days.

“After meeting with the seniors, their first words were, ‘Coach, we want to go deeper in the playoffs.’,” Couch said.

The Panthers reached the Class A state quarterfinals in 2011 under former coach Jesse Leigh and capped the season with a 9-4 overall record.

Foyil will kick off the 2012 season at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 against Ketchum at McGregor Field.

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