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Strong Finish in Sight for Aggie Football

By Alyssa Fox on 11/09/2017

Goodwell, Okla.—This Saturday, the Panhandle Football season draws to a close, but is sure to go out with a bang. The 6-3 Aggies will face the 0-10 Texas Wesleyan Rams on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m., on their home turf of Anchor D Stadium, and will also celebrate 17 talented senior athletes for PTCI Senior Day.

As the Aggies prepare to kick off their final game, Coach Gaskamp primes his team on the Rams' program. "They are a young, first year program but they play hard. Defensively they are very aggressive; they dare you to throw the ball. They have recently changed quarterbacks and they have some explosive, skilled athletes at the running back position," says Head Coach Russell Gaskamp of his upcoming opposition.

Prior to the game, fans can bear witness as the football coaching staff and Panhandle administration will take time to honor the young men who have achieved greatness both on and off the field this season. A phrase coined by legendary National Football League veteran Vince Lombardi, "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work," is exactly what Coach Gaskamp and the coaching staff are looking to commemorate. This season marks the most celebrated senior class in thirty-five years of Panhandle football. With a win over Texas Wesleyan, this 2017-2018 class will become the first class of seniors since 1986 to achieve an overall winning record over their career.

The Aggies will lose 17 seniors this year, but that number proves a gain of accolades and accomplishment for Panhandle State University and its' athletics departments. This substantial senior sum speaks not only to growing Panhandle State retention, but also to the traditions and legacy of the ameliorating football program. Coach Gaskamp specifically mentions Seniors Kameron Lyons, Linden Robertson, Matthew Granz, Cullen Oliver, Charles Stone, Jakob Popple, Diego Arenas, Cris Perez and Zach Perez-Clack, who have attended Panhandle State for the entirety of their athletic careers, and thanks them for their commitment and perseverance. They will be able to depart Panhandle State University not only with a profusion of erudition, but with a victorious athletic career on their shoulders. "These young men have played a lot of football for us, and they have accomplished a lot," reflects Coach Gaskamp.

The Aggies have faced a season of both success and tribulation and have persevered through team transitions and the conversion to the NAIA division. Through it all they have competed against teams of notoriety, including University of Montana, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University, and have secured a Division I-AA win over University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff last year. The Aggie's senior offensive lineman boasts an astounding 114 starts between seniors Perez, Granz, Popple, Oliver and Arenas over their four years with the program. Guiding that pack is Diego Arenas, brandishing an astronomical 41 starts, which Coach Gaskamp is looking to confirm as a Panhandle State record.

"We want to finish this off right for the guys who have devoted their time and effort [to this team,] implores Gaskamp of his team's proven efficacious season. Saturday will be an impending showcase day for the Panhandle football program and an exhibition for a considerable recruiting juncture for future Aggie athletes.

The Tailgate Zone will open at 11 a.m., where judging for the Annual Chili Cook-off will also take place. Even though the temperature is dropping, the heat is on for chili cook-off contestants and fans can join in the fun to taste-test the chili concoctions for free. Winners will be announced during halftime of the game. Senior-Day recognition will begin prior to game-time. Fans and campus community are encouraged to attend this momentous occasion to cheer on the Aggies for their last home game and senior send-off. Those who are not able to attend this PTCI sponsored game can view live streaming and stats at