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Panther Nation: Year 2

Dear readers,

The football season is near and we are preparing for another year of coverage here on Panther Nation. It is a good time of the year to be a fan and we are entering 2013-14 excited for more at the apex of Middlebury sports history. The football team brings back one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in senior McCallum Foote, who will be supported by a group of talented but unproven offensive weapons. The evolving defense is likely to take another step forward after last year’s surprising success, led by sophomore Tim Patricia, the tackling machine in the middle of the linebacking corps. The basketball team remains a model of sustained excellence, looking to make the NCAA tournament for a seventh straight season after the departures of Nolan Thompson, Jake Wolfin, and Peter Lynch, the winningest class in school history. Joey Kizel’s senior year will feature his dash up the all-time scoring list, Dylan Sinnickson’s return to the hardwood, and the emergence of the young guys — sophomores Matt Daley and Henry Pendergast, as well as Matt St. Amour and the freshman class. It’s going to be fun.

There are a few big picture things to discuss in regard to the blog and we thought now would be a good time. First, we hope that we learned from last year and can build on our product and do a better job with our coverage in 2013-14. Some things worked really well and we hope to expand on those; we have prepared even more for this season, especially in terms of knowing all that we can about teams and players, Middlebury and NESCAC-wide. However, senior year brings with it a lot of other big commitments for Jeff, so Damon will be taking over the bulk of the writing here this year. He also will continue in his role as Middlebury Campus sports editor and WRMC Sports lead broadcaster, so make sure to check out all of his work as the season continues (try listening to our football and basketball broadcasts; we might not be polished speakers, but we work hard and know more than the other guys and it shows). Jeff will still write, and most of the work we publish here is collaborative to an extent already, but Damon is taking over the lion’s share. Finally, we are both graduating soon (Damon in February, Jeff in May), which means that beyond this year, the future of the blog is uncertain. If any of our readers know some potential contributors, please let us know (emails: jhetzel@middlebury.edu, dhatheway@middlebury.edu). It would be great to see the blog continue, and while we will undoubtedly be following the Panthers closely after this year, we will not have the access to games and people required to provide much of value.

Finally, thanks to everyone for reading and giving us feedback. We started the blog with low expectations and were amazed by the growth in interest over the course of a year. The momentum of support made us want to write more, and looking back, we realize it grew into quite a lively community — 71 posts, over 60,000 words, over 1,000 tweets, over 150 comments, and thousands of page views per month. And that was all thanks to word of mouth from our readers, because we didn’t do much to promote it ourselves. We appreciate it and hope we can do a good job covering the Panthers in 2013-14.

Thanks,

Jeff and Damon

6 Responses to “Panther Nation: Year 2”

  1. Jeffrey Hetzel wrote:

    Thank you all for the support and readership.

    Reply

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Jack wrote:

    Jeff and Damon:

    You guys do an outstanding job and I have had withdrawal symptoms from not having much to read about here since last March. I am looking forward to the discussions this year

    Reply

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  3. middfaithful wrote:

    Looking fw to the year – your work is very impressive and most appreciated – hard to imagine anyone filling your shoes w equal insight and passion. Enjoy the year – best of luck beyond Midd

    Reply

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink
  4. Ron Liebowitz wrote:

    Jeff and Damon: always a great read. Look forward to Year 2.

    Reply

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink
  5. middhoops wrote:

    You’re not gone yet and I already miss you. Badly.
    Having tried to pass a sports blog on to someone else a couple times; I’ll be very pleasantly surprised if you can do it. The level of commitment and the talent you guys bring to the “job” is nearly impossible to replace.
    I look forward to reading your dissertations on logic masked as sports analysis on the D3 boards.

    mh

    Reply

    Monday, September 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  6. MiddDad wrote:

    The blog is a great read. I am primarily a hoops guy,but enjoy it all. Hopefully you are reporting on another trip to Salem for Jeff and the guys in March. Keep up the good work. Go Midd!

    Reply

    Monday, September 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

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