Sam Riley, the 1st year Defensive End, stepped up to the plate in a big way his rookie season wearing a Panthers’ uniform. The Colchester product was one of the few newcomers to be a day-one starter, and he showed why he was worthy of the role straight away. In the first game of the season, Riley’s aggressive nature shone through, coming up big with a sack and 3 tackles for loss against Bristol. But when asked what he’ll remember about that game, Riley replies: A roughing the kicker call. Proof that for all the great play the pass rusher provides, he has the maturity to acknowledge the areas he can improve.
Heading into the Christmas break the Panthers stood undefeated with a 3-0 record, and whilst that would’ve been enough for some rookies, Riley pointed to the work the Panthers had put in to get to that point. “[I] was very happy” Sam says, “but I knew we deserved it”.
Ever looking forward, Riley’s focus has moved on to next season, when the Panthers hope to improve on their 5-1 record. “Having another chance to get to the playoffs” is the soon to be 2nd year End’s mission. The question therefore becomes: will opposition offensive lines be equipped to stop him reaching that goal?
The Panther Posits – You’re stuck on a desert island, what’s the one album you’d have with you and why?