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Belgrade Panthers football making superior 4-0 start to the season

Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 23:56:40-04

BELGRADE — How exactly do you define success four games into the Class A football season? For the Belgrade Panthers, you can start by looking at the record.

The Panthers are 4-0 and No. 5 in the MontanaSports.com polls.

“I mean, we’re confident, but we’re trying to keep modest,” senior linebacker Travis Bagby said. “Go out and do our jobs, make sure we’re not going too far.”

The impressive start is a little foreign to the Panthers, and when asked the last time they were this hot, head coach Eric Kinnaman took some time to think about it.

“Back in 2016, we had a really good start. I don’t know if it was this good. Being 4-0 in conference, it really is a big thing for us.”

But they also know nothing is permanent and things can change very quickly in football.

“After every game we don’t think 4-0, 3-0” Travis Bagby said. “We think okay, time for next week. We don’t even think about the last game, we just go to next week.”

The Panthers have the tools to keep their win streak alive, starting with playmakers like running back Easton Page.

“They double-team him, triple-team him, which opens up other options across the field, like Ethan Major as our running back, and other wide receivers,” Bagby said. “It really opens up for everybody else, and that’s only if he can’t get open.”

Coach Kinnaman has some all-stars for himself.

“Easton Page, Ethan Major, Stran Knudsen, even Brendan Clarkson, we have some really veteran players out there and those guys really help out in the huddle.”

But the Belgrade defense is what opponents should be prepared for.

“Our defense is really on top of things right now, and I think that is because we’ve had this defense installed for quite awhile now and the kids know it and they’re comfortable with both packages we have in,” Kinneman said.

“I think our defense, it just has a lot of intensity,” Page said. “We rep that all throughout the week in practice and we just bring that into games.”

Undefeated or not, Page and his teammates believe in keeping it humble.

“If we can clean up the little things, we can bring this team to the next level. Like the coaches were saying, we’re a good team right now but we’re not great, and we’re trying to become a great team,” Page said.

Belgrade will head to Laurel on Friday to take on the Locomotives.