Some people could glance at Snider's record a year ago, a season that included five defeats, and think that the Panthers have taken a huge leap forward in 2012.
But Snider coach Kurt Tippmann has something to say to those people:, Ffor the most part, these are the same ol' Panthers entering Friday's game against fellow undefeated North Side
“We may be progressing more rapidly than we did last year,” Tippmann said. “But we have not made any changes or seen anything big from last year to this year from our players.”
It is tough to argue with Tippmann Tippman when glancing at last least year's defeats.
Of Snider's five losses, four of which came against programs that played Thanksgiving weekend in the state championship:, Penn (twice), Bishop Luers and Indianapolis Cathedral.
The fifth loss came to Friday's opponent, with North Side ending a 20-year drought against the Panthers in a 19-16 win.
“People forget how difficult our schedule was from top to bottom,” said Tippmann about 2011.
The Panthers are having no problems navigating another difficult schedule in 2012.
* An opening-week victory over Bishop Luers has been followed up by four more, including knocking off Penn in Wweek 4.
* In that victory over the Kingsmen, the Panthers won the game in the trenches, dominating Penn for four quarters after losing the battle up front twice a year ago.
Despite all of the athleticism on both sides of the ball between Snider and North Side, the game will come down to the big guys on the line.
“If there is any difference in this year and last year, it is we are a little more veteran in the offensive backfield and offensive line,” Tippmann said.
That veteran savvy will be important in attempting to shut down quarterback C.J. Jackson and the dynamic North Side offense.
While victories over Bishop Luers and Penn have been impressive, the Panthers have yet to face off against as good of an offense as North Side this season.
Tippmann understands the challenge.
“C.J. Jackson is one of the best players in our part of the state,” Tippmann said. “We are going to have to be incredibly disciplined defensively.”
Tippmann also mentioned the tenacity of the Redskins' defense. Despite giving up more than over 20 points per game, Tippmann believes North Side presents a big challenge.
“They've got some guys who can get into the backfield and disrupt plays,” Tippmann said. “We have to be able to open holes and protect our quarterback (Brandon Phelps).
“Overall, it is all about execution. We did not execute in key times last year;, we have done a better job of that so far. That is one of the few things that are different.”