Panthers Open Football Training On Ladies Night

Maumee football coach Evan Karchner breaks down the huddle after the Panthers football team’s Ladies Night at Kazmaier Stadium on Wednesday, June 19. MIRROR PHOTO BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — For 10 weeks in the fall, moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters and other women in their lives head to the stands at Kazmaier Stadium and other local football stadiums to watch the Maumee football team compete on the field.

At least for one night last week at the second annual Ladies Night, the women got a chance to experience a little of what the Panthers go through to train and compete.

“I appreciate the coaches for including the ladies,” said Lisa Miller, whose son, Pierce Simpson, is a senior lineman. “Being able to learn and go through a few things that Pierce and the team go through on a smaller scale was so much fun.

“It means being involved and included other than just watching from the stands. I am grateful that the football program opens itself up to include family. It means so much to me to be able to spend this time with Pierce on the field that he spends so much time on.”

Panthers coach Evan Karchner and his staff fit the night’s events in between storms last Wednesday, having the women run through drills that included passing, kicking, punting and tackling.

The evening ended with the women getting an opportunity to tackle their players.

“I thought Ladies Night was a great turnout despite the weather,” Karchner said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to get more people in our community involved with our football program. 

“It’s just another way to show support to our community and the community to show support to us back. I also think it’s a cool and unique opportunity for players and their moms.”

For the moms of seniors on the team, such as Miller and Deirdre Wulf, mom of running back Cody Wulf, the night was extra special. Knowing this is the last go-around as a Panther makes everything a little more melancholy.

“It always hits a little harder when senior year comes around,” Deirdre Wulf said. “I am very excited for the season to get started but yet want it to slow down at the same time. Cody has worn a Panther football jersey since second grade. I am sure I will be emotional.”

Miller echoed Wulf, saying, “I am also going to be sad when the season is over. Endings are always sad – Pierce has been playing some sort of football since he was 4 years old. Always practices and trainings to get stronger and faster. Football has always been a part of our lives.

“It’s sad that this chapter of high school football is coming to a close, but I know that it will be the start of new adventures for Pierce and his fellow seniors.”

The season marks a return to action for Cody Wulf, who was injured early in last year’s game against Rossford and sat out the final two weeks.

His mom has no doubt Wulf will make great use of his final season as a Panther.

“Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game,” Deirdre Wulf said. “This kid absolutely amazes me with his resilience, determination and mentality. He is very motivated to bounce back in a big way to help the Panthers not only win games but to make the playoffs. 

“I am very excited to watch Cody and his teammates do big things this season.”

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