From the big E-L-D-E-R cheer at lunch, to the vibrant pep rallies and a rowdy cheering section, everyone knows that the 2012 Elder Football season has finally begun. In the off-season, players have worked and practiced harder than ever before. They knew that they needed to work so their fall season would not end up like last year’s 2-8 struggle. All summer they pushed themselves, even if that meant getting up early every day. Once July 30 th hit, it was a routine of practicing from 8-3:30 in the hot, humid Cincinnati weather. This marked the startof the “two-a-days” where the only thing that kept them going was the delicious grub between practices. After each practice, they ran many times up and down the field, while being told that they could not afford giving up in the fourth quarter like the previous season. On August 24, the gridiron Panthers were pumped about the first game of the season. That school day seemed to take forever as all the players anticipated the season that layahead. As the game began, our Panthers took an early 7-0 lead over the Centerville Elks, as Senior Jimmy White ran for a touchdown. Later in the first half, White took a blow that knocked him out of the game. The Elks scored to tie the game, but Chris Schroer scored in the last minute before halftime, making it 14-7. The Panthers came out strong in the second half as Joe Ramstetter caught a TD pass from Josh Moore. At the end of the game, Elder was victorious 34-21, as Schroer and Ramstetter both scored again in the fourth quarter. Week two looked as if it might be an easy game, but the Panthers practiced hard as always. They took the field against Upper Arlington, looking for the second win of the season. White was the first Pantherto score as he ran to paydirt for an Elder touchdown. Later, in the first quarter, Moore threw connected with Max Mazza for a 26-yard touchdown. Schroer ran for a TD and Moore found Ramstetter for a 24-yard touchdown pass on afourth down play. At halftime, Elder was up 35-7. In the second half, junior Nick Peters replaced Moore as QB. Peters and his offense drove down the field and he kicked a field goal. With five minutes remaining in the game, Jeremy Reed broke loose and ran for a77-yard TD. On the other side of the ball, AJ Comrata and Nick Bley both had interceptions. The Panthers found themselves their second win of the season as they won over the Golden Bears 45-7. With two wins under their belt, the football Panthers are feeling pretty good. Last season, the boys of fall also started out at 2-0. But after the second week, things went down hill.They began to lose games in the fourth quarter or in the last minutes. Thisgave the players something to strive for. Coaches told the players they need to show their best effort all 48 minutes of the games. After a two game great start to this season, the pigskin Panthers can’t get too excited. They still have a tough season ahead and they should take one game at a time. This weekwill be a true test of their skills and performance as they battle the number one ranked team in the country, Louisville Trinity.