Pushing to Be the Best

Admitting that he was a raw athlete committing to a Big Ten champion following his sophomore season, Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead offensive lineman George Panos spent all summer working on every aspect of his game. The results landed him first-team all-state honors and a division 1 state championship.

GREEN BAY - In the months since winning his first state championship, Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead offensive lineman George Panos has already turned his attention toward his senior season, hoping to bring the Warhawks their sixth state title.

That doesn't mean he didn't watch a replay of the 2012 state final at least one time.

In a 35-14 whipping of Sun Prairie, ranked No.2 in the state at the time, Panos and his teammates scored on three of their first four drives against a defense that had allowed only 3.6 points per game during the season.

"As an offensive line, it might have been our best game all year," said Panos, who committed to Wisconsin's 2014 recruiting class last April. "We executed our game plan, did whatever we could to win the game. It was as close to a perfect game as we played all year."

It was a group effort, but Panos got plenty of recognition, signified by him being recognized as a first-team all-state selection by the Associated Press and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.

"It's a huge honor, because we worked all season and all offseason to get to where we were," said Panos. "I have to give credit to my other offensive linemen, my whole team, because without them we wouldn't have gotten here."

His teammates deserve credit, but so does his father. A captain of Wisconsin's 1994 Rose Bowl team and a seven year NFL veteran, Joe Panos coaches his son and the offensive line at Arrowhead, not to mention being an agent to three former Wisconsin offensive linemen (Travis Frederick, Ricky Wagner and Kevin Zeitler).

Coaching his son since the fifth grade, Joe Panos has made sure that his son is the player with the best technique on the field.

"I hammered on (technique) early and been telling him since he was a kid," said Joe Panos. "Even if he would demolish a kid, if he did it the wrong way I would tell him. You have to do it the right way for that time when you match up against someone like you physically. The differences in those match ups is who uses the proper technique."

Always believing he had a solid first step off the snap of the ball, Panos spent the summer working on his hand placement at the point of contact and on his pull blocks. He also recognized he was a raw athlete following his sophomore year, but worked with his dad to turn his body into competitive form.

"I probably really credit him with all that I can," said Panos. "He's the reason I am here. He taught me everything I know. All my accomplishments are credited to him."

Weighing in at approximately 293 pounds during last season, Panos is pushing himself to start next season at a solid 285 pounds, getting biggest, faster and stronger to make his body as good as it can be athletically.

"Since he was in fifth grade, it was his goal to win a state championship first and foremost and to be considered one of the best offensive linemen in the state," said Joe Panos. "He's met one goal. Now he's trying to be the best player he can be. I've watched him grow, get better every year and I'm very proud of him."

Badger Nation Top Stories