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Two Panther QBs
Two Panther QBs

A Panther Blast from the Past

John Louis is the grandfather of Jeff Louis, the starting quarterback on this year’s Panther Varsity Football team. Like his grandson, Mr. Louis was also the Panther’s starting quarterback, back in 1960. So we asked the grandson to interview his grandfather about what it was like to play the same position on the same team, fifty years earlier.

Grandson: Grandpa, you started at quarterback during your senior year. How many passes did you complete in that season and how many did you attempt?

Grandpa: First of all, the coach back then, Joe Los, liked to run the ball so we didn’t have too many passing plays at all. I think I had 26 or 27 completions in six games that season and I think I might have thrown the ball maybe six or seven times a game.

Grandson: Wow! That means you had a completion rate of like 65%. That’s real good.

Grandpa: I had a good arm and good receivers. One of the guys I threw to was Ken Landis. He ended up playing wide receiver at Colgate for three years. I go to all your games and I’d say you get to throw the ball about three times more than I did during a game.

Grandson: Yeah, Coach Russo likes to pass and about 50% of my plays call for me to throw the ball. What was the game you remember most?

Grandpa: We were playing Smithtown for the league title and we beat them 14-12 on a twenty-yard pass over the middle to Landis with about five seconds left in the game. We played the game at Smithtown and I can still remember how quiet their side of the field got when Kenny caught that ball and how loud our side got. It was almost like I went deaf in one ear.

Grandson: Do you think the Anytown team back then could have beat today’s Anytown team?

Grandfather: That’s a tough question, especially because you are the quarterback of this year’s team. I think we’d give you a good run for your money. We weren’t as big as you guys are today and we never lifted weights like you guys do but we had some real tough guys on that team and some real speedy ones too. I don’t think you’d be able to stop our running attack and we’d definitely have trouble with your passing game. It would probably be close but in the end we’d beat you by a field goal.

Grandson: A field goal? Did you guys have a good kicker?

Grandfather: We sure did. It was your Mother’s Uncle, Lenny Taylor. He could put it through the uprights every time from thirty five yards or closer.

Grandson: What’s the biggest difference about being a football player back then and being one today?

Grandfather: Like I said, the weight training you guys do is incredible and the equipment you have compared to what we used, especially for practicing is like the space age versus the stone age as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got more coaches too. But we played the game more. There wasn’t a weekday evening or weekend afternoon that a bunch of us guys didn’t get a game going either on the field by the river or playing touch in the street. Today, you kids play your football on a TV or computer with that John Madden game. I preferred being a kid when I was a kid because kids played football and basketball and baseball against each other, outside in the fresh air and we improved our skills, helped each other get better and grew closer as friends.

Grandson: I don’t know Grandpa, all my friends play Madden and we have a ball, plus our Coach tells us not to play pickup games cause he’s afraid we will get hurt.

Grandfather: Time have changed Jeffrey my boy, times have certainly changed.

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