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                                            Release from Powell High School Football:
                         Gray Bunch, Koby Crisp, Cade Smith to sign with the University of the Cumberlands

    Three members of the state runners up Powell Panthers will sign Letters of Intent to continue their educations and play football at The University of the Cumberlands.  Linebacker Gray Bunch, offensive lineman Koby Crisp and defensive back Cade Smith will make their their intentions official in a ceremony to be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday, March 1, in the main lobby of the school.  Family, supporters, fellow students, and media are invited and encouraged to attend. 
    Bunch has been called the "Quarterback of the Panther Defense" by his coaches.  A 2 year starter, 3 year Letterman, Bunch played a key role in the Panther defensive success that led his team to a record setting 14-1 season in 2011, and a combined 25-2 mark during the past two seasons.  During his senior season, the 5'10" and 185 pound inside linebacker made 93 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, registered 3 sacks, and picked off 2 opponent pass attempts.  For his work, Bunch was voted All District 3AAA the district coaches, and he was selected as the Team Defensive Player of the Year by his team mates.  As a junior, Gray was credited with 81 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks.  Gray's position coach at Powell was Justin Lamb.  Gray's parents are Robert and Debbie Bunch.  

    Crisp, a versatile offensive lineman, is a 3 year starter for the Panthers, and has played both guard and tackle during his career at Powell.  At 6'2" and 255, Koby is big enough to go toe to toe with both defensive tackles and defensive ends, but he also posses the quickness and footwork to get down-field and make secondary blocks to help his offense get those extra yards.  Crisp was part of an offensive line that helped the Panthers gain over 6,000 yards and average over 40 points per game in 2011.  During his career at Powell, Koby's offensive lines blew open holes that allowed a running back to set the all time State of Tennessee single season rushing record at 3,068 yards this past fall.  During Crisp's tenure, his lines blocked for the school's numbers 1 and 2 all time total offensive yards leaders.  Larry Neely is the Panther offensive line coach.  Koby's Dad is Kenny Crisp.    

    Smith was one of the most versatile players in the 2011/2012 Powell senior class.  As a 5'9" and 175 pound defensive back, Smith played a key role in the Panther secondary during the Panther run to Cookeville.  In addition to being a solid defensive player, Smith also excelled on special teams for the Panthers.   Former Panther head coach Matt Lowe on Smith:  "Cade brought a great contribution to the Panther football program.  He embodies all that a high school football player should be."  Cade's parents are David and Kim Smith.  His defensive backs coach at Powell was Scotty Stewart. 

    While at Powell, Bunch, Crisp and Smith were part of an unprecedented run of success within the Panther football program.  Some of the 2011/2012 senior class accomplishments included:

School record for wins in a season with 14
Best single season winning percentage at .933
Most wins in a two year period at 25
Best winning percentage within a 2 year period at .926
Only the second appearance in a state championship game in school history
Back to back District 3AAA titles
Back to back undefeated regular seasons.

The signing of Bunch, Crisp and Smith will bring the number for the members of the 2011/2012 Panther Football Senior Class who have signed football Letters of Intent to 7.  Already having signed are RB Dy'shawn Mobley (University of Kentucky), QB/Athlete Dustin McPhetridge (Austin Peay State University), OL Chris Easterday (Carson-Newman College), and DL Wesley Sparks (Carson-Newman College).  Several others from the class are also entertaining offers.  We will let you know as those signings occur.  

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