ERIE, Ill. — They got the coach of the year, player of the year and a first ever home playoff victory. It's still not enough for the Panthers, according to Erie/Prophetstown head football coach Chuck Milem.
"We're not ready for this journey to be done yet, are we?" Milem said to his team, following a 50-28 trouncing of River Valley on Panther turf last Friday.
Last week, the Three Rivers Conference announced all-conference recipients. The Panthers peppered the North Division with 11 players named to the first, second and honorable mention squads. They also swept the two biggest awards — Milem for coach of the year and senior running back Nick Williams was named conference Most Valuable Player. Senior lineman Owen McConnell was also a two-way first team all-conference selection.
Accolades aside, Milem's words on Nov. 1 implied E/P is pushing for something bigger than personal distinction. Today, the Panthers find out if they'll garner the right to move forward in the Illinois Class 3A state football playoffs. Standing in their way is No. 5 seed Stillman Valley.
"It's the first time in school history we've ever won at home," Milem said. "We've been here before but we've never won one. Certainly we'd like to keep the journey going."
The coach told his players to spend the weekend in glory of last week's win. On Monday, though, they went to work.
"We're going to get in the scouting room and take a look at who we're going to play next," Milem said.
"We've got another week to go, so we'll enjoy this one for a little bit," said sophomore back Jordan Chandler. "But then it's back to work next week."