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Powerful River Rouge Panthers on the prowl for more success

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Five years ago, Corey Parker took over the football program at River Rouge and has since turned the Panthers into a powerhouse.

During the last two seasons, the team has a combined record of 19-3 and has won at least six games every year since 2010.

His approach to the high school game is somewhat unique, as he doesn’t use any two-way players.

“Guys that play offense play offense, guys that play defense play defense,” he said. “It really makes the practice very competitive.”

Heading into 2014, junior Antoine Burgess (6-foot-0, 175 pounds) will be the Panther’s starting quarterback. Burgess will be one of the squad’s captains this year.

A running back-by-committee system will be led by senior Jajuan Kemp (5-9, 160) and junior Lenell Martin (5-7, 175). Kemp is a Division 1 college prospect who ran for about 1,600 yards last year.

At wide receiver will be junior Aaron Vinson (6-2, 180) and seniors AJ Brown (5-10, 170) and Maurice Witherspoon (6-0, 180) and junior Ashawnti Howard (6-2, 170) will serve as a split end.

Players who will be on the offensive line for the Panthers this fall are junior team captain Isaac Wycoff (6-2, 320), senior Terrell Griffin (6-2, 240) and Julius Laidler (6-5, 300). Wycoff is back after starting as a sophomore, while Griffin and Laidler both have a shot to play at the next level, Parker said.

The fresh set of players starting on the other side of the ball includes senior defensive lineman and team captain Myles Campbell (6-3, 240), along with fellow senior linemen Chris Agee (6-0, 320) and junior Jaylen Murgen (6-3, 240).

At the defensive end spots will be a pair of senior twin brothers in Paul Mckuen (6-4, 225) and Patrick Mckuen (6-4, 225).

Seniors Malik Lofton (6-0, 200) and Deonte Wilson (5-10, 200) will both serve as linebackers for the Maroon and white in 2014.

The cornerback position will be manned by senior team captain Dequon Butler (5-10, 170) along with fellow senior Dontez Blackshear (6-2, 175) and senior Rajuan Williams (5-8, 150). So far, Butler has received offers to play football at Sienna Heights University and Notre Dame College of Ohio, Parker said.

Playing safety will be freshmen Reggie Pearson (5-8, 160) and Eric Chinault (6-1, 185), along with junior Devonte Pipkins (5-10, 195).

Kicking for Parker’s squad this season will be Blackshear, while Pearson is set to be the punter.

Blackshear will also return kicks, along with Martin and Brown.

River Rouge is scheduled to open up the new season by welcoming in Romulus for a game on Aug. 28.

Last Updated: 8/28/2014 5:40:39 PM EST