Reynolds, Panthers Face New 5A Challenge

If Hillcrest is going to end its five-year postseason drought this season, Nasir Reynolds almost certainly will be the catalyst.

The electrifying Reynolds played in the first seven games of last season, amassing more than 1,000 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, and leading the Panthers to a 6-1 start.

“It’s great to have one of your best players also be one of your hardest workers.”

Jacob Ramon

Then the Virginia native missed the final three games of the year, and Hillcrest dropped all of them, causing the Panthers to miss the playoffs.

Reynolds is back and healthy this fall, although the Panthers’ challenge will be magnified by a jump from Class 4A to a nine-team district in 5A Division II.

“There’s nothing you can say negative about Nasir. It’s great to have one of your best players also be one of your hardest workers,” said Hillcrest head coach Jacob Ramon. “We’re going to rely on him a lot, but he has the parts around him to where it’s going to be difficult to focus on just stopping Nasir.”

Four starters return along the offensive line, which should benefit new quarterback Carter Sido, who led a 7-3 junior varsity squad last season.

“He’s a natural leader,” Ramon said. “He has a lot of tools. He’s handling everything we put on his plate. I’m excited for his potential.”

The Panthers will feature a handful of three-year starters on a defensive unit that generated 30 takeaways and scored seven touchdowns a year ago.

Hillcrest should be solid up front with Demarlynn Bell, Trevor Cabell, Corey Untersee, and Matt Gann leading the way.

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