Pasquotank Football Preview | Rebuilding process continues for Panthers; community supports team after tragedy
By Malcolm Shields
Monday, August 19, 2019
The rebuilding process continues for the Pasquotank County High School football team.
In year two leading the program, head coach RaShawn Spencer has a fairly young team that will take the field for the season opener Friday night at home against Washington County.
A young team had to deal with a difficult real-life situation during the past week.
On Monday, Aug. 12, Logan Grubb, 16, died in an automobile accident.
Grubb, who was a junior at Pasquotank, was expected to be Panthers' starting quarterback this season.
After his death, Pasquotank did not attend a scrimmage in Williamston at Riverside High School on Aug. 13.
This past Friday was the Panthers' first and only scrimmage of the preseason against Virginia's Deep Creek High School at Northeastern High School.
“It was our first opportunity to get on the field and have some live action; some full-speed action on a game field,” Spencer said after Friday night's scrimmage.
During the preseason, the coach added that the team had been practicing against themselves.
“I'm not dissatisfied with the way the guys played, being with what they have been through all week long,” Spencer said.
Some of young players earned playing time in a scrimmage against Deep Creek.
Linebacker Jordan Ponds was in on tackles and had an interception during the scrimmage.
Spencer also noted that Dre McPherson had a good scrimmage on the defensive line.
The coach was pleased with how his defense was able to stop the run during the scrimmage.
He added that the team has young players in the secondary, which led to big pass plays by Deep Creek.
“Defense didn't do a bad job,” Spencer said. “We just found ourselves on the field a lot longer than what we needed to be.”
The Panthers rotated quarterbacks during the early portion of the scrimmage.
Spencer acknowledged that there is work to be done on offense and noted that plays were available on offense to be made during the scrimmage.
The Panthers will have to replace multi-year starters Kamari Spencer, a linebacker who was named Northeastern Coastal Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season, defensive lineman Jeremiah Dunton, quarterback Jonathan Lamberson, wide receivers Sam Bingham, Johnathon Barrett, Jersiah Moore and team leading rusher in running back Jaquan Smith this season.
All were seniors last fall.
Taeshawn Holley and Clinton Mallory are two returning players on defense for the Panthers this season.
The Panthers' six non-conference games will be against Class 1A schools in Washington County in the opener, at Northampton County (Aug. 30), at John A. Holmes (Sept. 6), Camden (Sept. 13), at Bear Grass Charter (Sept. 20) and Gates (Sept. 27).
Pasquotank begins conference play Oct. 11 at Currituck.
“We have a lot of young guys and those young guys are going to contribute on Thursdays and Fridays,” coach Spencer said.
The coach added that coaching staff will be patient with the team.
“We know that it's going to be a building process,” coach Spencer said. “Hopefully it will start happening during this year and then progress right over into the next year and into the next year. Our goal is to continue to build it over a four-year process.”
In the days after the death of Grubb, the region has rallied to show support for the Pasquotank County High School football team.
Many area schools on social media sent their condolences to the Pasquotank County High School community during the past week.
Currituck County High School said in a post on Twitter: “Pasquotank County High School and it’s community are in our thoughts and prayers as they lost an amazing student and athlete.”
The John A. Holmes High School Athletics Boosters tweeted: “Aces are sending thoughts and prayers to the @PTankPrideFB and entire school.”
Chad Williams, the head boys' basketball coach at First Flight High School posted on Twitter: “So sorry to hear of this tragic news. RIP Logan. Prayers of comfort for all of the family and friends and Pasquotank community.”
So sorry to hear of this tragic news. RIP Logan. Prayers of comfort for all of the family and friends and Pasquotank community. https://t.co/1o2ToiPkCn— chad williams (@firstflighthoop) August 12, 2019
Before Pasquotank took to the field for its portion of the scrimmage Friday night at Northeastern, a moment of silence was held for Grubb.
The Northeastern High School Athletic Boosters tweeted after Friday's scrimmage: “NHS showed their support of the Ptank Football team last night. They may be rivals on the field, but they will always be brothers in the community.”
In the tweet was a photo of a Northeastern helmet that had a black decal with the initials LG and the number 3 in honor of Grubb.
NHS showed their support of the Ptank Football team last night. They may be rivals on the field, but they will always be brothers in the community. 🏈💚💛🔵⚪️🏈 pic.twitter.com/94TjTZLWZ2— NHS Boosters (@BoostersNHS) August 17, 2019
Individuals in the community have stepped up in supporting Grubb's desire for more equipment for Pasquotank County High School athletics as a GoFundMe account has received over $8,000 of donations as of Sunday afternoon.
The account, which is managed by Grubb's aunt April Marsden Fernsten, plans to donate 100 percent of funds collected to Pasquotank County High School Athletics.
The GoFundMe account is #LLL Long Live Logan.
Click here to access the GoFundMe account.
The account states the goal is to reach $10,000.