Palmyra’s Miles will miss season opener as school district imposes one-game disciplinary sanction

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Palmyra football coach Kevin Miles will miss the season opener at Hallsville as he serves a one-game disciplinary suspension levied by the school administration for a locker room incident. | Submitted photo

PALMYRA, Mo. — Long before practices began this week, Palmyra football coach Kevin Miles preached trust needed to be the Panthers’ battle cry.

Trust the process. Trust each other. Trust the work will lead to the right outcome.

Add trust in overcoming adversity to the list of mantras.

Before Wednesday morning’s practice, Miles informed his players he will be serving a one-game disciplinary suspension for the August 26 season opener at Hallsville as levied by the district administration as the “result of a situation that occurred in an unsupervised locker room.”

The incident occured during a previous season.

Palmyra Superintendent Jason Harper said in a statement, “The district administration and Coach Miles have worked together to create a supervision plan that will eliminate these issues moving forward.”

Defensive coordinator Tyler Krietemeyer will serve as interim coach and play caller with Mark Hoerr running the defense against Hallsville. Everything reverts to the original plans and positions thereafter with Palmyra playing at Bowling Green in Week 2 and at Centralia in Week 3.

“I trust those guys, and our motto this year is trust,” Miles said. “We went in with that idea, and I said to our players, ‘You have to trust in them. I trust in them.’ I trust in the kids to get things done. We just have to go with the mantra we’re going to get things done.

“We’re going to use that as that and move on from there.”

Miles made sure to stress he wanted the Panthers to approach the situation the right way.

“We’re not going to be negative. We’re not going to point fingers. We’re not going to throw stones,” Miles said. “We’re just going to move on.”

Miles could tell the players were “visibly upset by the look in their eyes,” but he said they were ready to attack practice following the short team meeting.

“They were like, ‘Yep, we’re going to get it done. We’ll use that to fuel our fire and move on,’” Miles said.

Miles is entering his 12th season at the helm, having led the Panthers to a 90-42 record, four district championships and three state semifinal berths in that stretch. Palmyra has enjoyed nine winning seasons under Miles.

Miles hopes this situation can be a life lesson for his players.

“I tell them all the time, ‘Don’t ever take things for granted,’” Miles said. “For the first time in 24 years, I won’t be on the sideline. It’s disappointing to me, and I feel like I let them down. But I can’t change that now. I have to trust that my coaches are good enough to go out and do the greatest job ever. I believe in my guys and I believe in my team.”

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