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Panthers drop brutes Aquinas, Heights, add Hoisington, Ulysses
spt deh flag
As is custom, the Great Bend Panthers came onto the field after breaking through a banner in 2011. They finished the regular season with a 4-4 record. - photo by Dale Hogg Great Bend Tribune file photo

Over the past two seasons, the Great Bend High School Panthers have worn the tag of having the toughest all-class football schedule in the state.
Traditionally-tough Class 5A St. Thomas Aquinas and 2011 6A state runner-up and 2010 state champion Wichita Heights were featured opponents in early-season games the last two campaigns— all losses.
Starting this fall, the Panthers are taking a smaller venue, the toughest slate a thing of the past.
Great Bend opens its campaign against nearby 3A Hoisington on the road in non-conference play on Friday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. The Panthers then make a trip out west to 4A Ulysses for Game 2 on Sept. 7, a welcome sight after they had idle dates the past two seasons in those slots.
The battle for the Western Athletic Conference championship won’t get any easier with defending champion Hays loaded and touted running back David Cardinal returning.
Great Bend, which finished 4-4 last season, has an upcoming schedule that includes nine games, five on the road. Incidentally, four of Great Bend’s first six games are on the road.
GBHS entertains WAC opponent Garden City at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 14 in the home and conference opener.
Homecoming festivities are set for Sept. 21, with Wichita North coming to town as the Panthers’ third non-conference opponent.
Great Bend then hits the road for WAC play the next two weeks, heading to Dodge City on Sept. 28 and Liberal on Oct. 15, before returning home for the WAC finale and district opener against Hays on Oct. 12.
The Panthers travel to Salina Central on Oct. 19, and then put a wrap on district play on Oct. 26 at home against Salina South.


    Aug. 31 — At Hoisington
    Sept. 7 — At Ulysses
    Sept. 14 — GARDEN CITY
    Sept. 21 — WICHTA NORTH, (Homecoming)
    Sept. 28 — At Dodge City
    Oct. 5 — At Liberal
    Oct. 12 — HAYS
    Oct. 19 — At Salina Central
    Oct. 26 — SALINA SOUTH
    Nov. 2 — Regional, TBA      
    Nov. 9 — Sectional, TBA
    Nov. 16 — Semifinal, TBA               
    Nov. 24 — State, TBA
   All games 7 p.m unless noted otherwise