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Remote learning suits Panther Creek’s Amari Odom just fine, like Friday’s playoff win over Olympic

Alex Bass
·2 min read

For Panther Creek quarterback Amari Odom, the Catamounts’ 21-14 home win over Olympic in Friday’s N.C. 4AA Football Playoffs’ first round reaffirmed what Odom has known throughout this 2020-21 school year.

Students can learn and thrive via Google Meet sessions.

Odom has persevered through this pandemic as a 100 percent remote learner. The 6-3, 170-pound sophomore relied on technology to learn Panther Creek’s offense amidst a quick transition from the Catamounts’ preceding basketball season.

“He knows enough to be effective,” Panther Creek Coach Sean Crocker said of Odom. “When he has a whole year in it, it’s going to be something to see.”

Odom was something to see as a passer and runner versus the Trojans.

With the Catamounts’ undefeated season in the balance, facing a 14-7 fourth quarter deficit, Odom heaved a third down-and-23 pass toward Khilen Holliman. The ball was tipped before it landed in Holliman’s waiting hands in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown with 5:37 remaining in the period.

Odom connected with Zay Jones on a slant for 30 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 4:47 left in the fourth quarter.

“Originally, that play was to the right,” Odom said. “I saw the linebacker peep in to the right. So I audibled to the left and hit Zay on a slant. I’m just happy he executed and made a juke and scored.”

Odom helped get Panther Creek’s scoring started in the first quarter. He ran for a first down on fourth-and-three yards to go (from the Trojans’ four) to advance the ball to the one-yard line. Cameron Wurtsbaugh rushed the final yard for a Catamounts touchdown.

Odom said he, very simply, did what he had to do. Crocker elaborated on Odom’s impact.

“He takes leadership to another level around here,” Crocker said. “He’s a leader by example. Then, he’s not afraid to voice himself either.”

Odom, before pausing for postgame interviews, could be seen picking up field yardage markers after the game. Now, Odom (a baseball player, too) will enjoy another week of school day Google Meet sessions and technology infused film study for next week’s second round.

“I’m just getting use to more technology,” Odom said. “It’s just more technology time at home and for me to learn.”

Panther Creek (8-0), seeded third in the Western Region, will travel to Charlotte next Friday and visit No. 2 Myers Park (8-0).