Patch PanthersHead coach: Brian HillLast year: 5-2, conference co-champion, lost to Wiesbaden 21-17 in semifinals.Key games: Sept. 22 vs. Wiesbaden, Sept. 29 at Ramstein.However hard it would appear to do, Patch’s Hill has found an upside to losing 18 seniors and “several key underclassmen” from last year’s Division I conference co-champions.“We are basically fielding a completely different team,” Hill wrote in a preseason email. So?“Nobody will really know what to expect from us.”The 2012 Panthers, however, won’t have to rely completely on stealth, Hill wrote.“Jake Cranmer, one of our returning lettermen and a senior, will also be a linebacker and anchor our O-line,” Hill reported. “Caine Collins and Curtis Hobson, both seniors, will be strong runners for us and help our defense. Andrew Mineni and Alec Chiarotti are looking good on our line and offer more senior leadership... Connor Hartzell and Dylan Stanko … have converted to new positions (running back) and are going to do well for us.”Linebackers Joe Logan, a senior playing for the first time at Patch, and Walter Guyer, a team leader, are poised to star, Hill added, but all the uncertainties have left the team undecided about its base offensive and defensive systems.Patch is to host Heidelberg, a team whose 2012 graduation losses were as devastating as Patch’s, on opening day.

2012 scheduleSept. 15: Heidelberg; JV hosts RamsteinSept. 22: WiesbadenSept. 29: at RamsteinOct. 6: at KaiserslauternOct. 13: at VilseckOct. 20: Lakenheath

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