The Peoria Panthers experienced their fair share of ups and downs in 2012, going 4-6 in head coach Will Babb’s first season.
One of the bright spots returning this season is senior wide receiver Darius Aguirre, who was by far the team’s biggest asset on offense last season.
The Peoria quarterbacks – led by Dillon Gragano – threw for 1,429 yards and 11 touchdowns. Aguirre accounted for 718 of those yards and six of those touchdowns.
Aguirre also rushed 11 times for 173 yards and four more touchdowns.
With Coach Babb getting through his first season, things should be a bit more settled for the Panthers this coming year.
Aguirre’s mind is in the clouds. In a good way of course. He’s thinking big time offensive output in his senior season.
“I just want to go out with a bang and have a big year and break the record for receiving yards at our school before I get out of there, so it should be fine,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre has gotten looks from a number of schools, including Colorado, Colorado State, North and South Dakota and UNLV. With his lightning quick first step and cut and his sure hands, more offers are sure to come in, which is why Aguirre has to keep stepping his game up.
“I just feel that no matter what you just need to make sure you need to put up whatever you need to put up [numbers wise], no matter if your team’s good or not, because you’re still gonna get noticed,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre is a quiet young man by nature, but playing quarterback in the past and wide receiver now has made him a more vocal person in the locker room, especially with a young Panthers team looking to him for guidance.
“I feel that I can be a leader,” Aguirre said.
With his mind already set on breaking records and being a leader, Aguirre most assuredly will be wearing a target all season long and will be talked about all season long as well.
Words really mean nothing to Aguirre.
“Honestly, I don’t really think about it,” Aguirre said. “There’s a lot better athletes in every other state, so as long as I’m doing what I need to do in Arizona, then hopefully I get noticed somewhere else.”