A longtime Class AA program, the Panthers make the move down to Class A and join the Big Seven Conference this season.
"This is an exciting opportunity for our players," fourth-year coach Tom Liberty said. "We played a heck of a schedule [in Class AA's Midwestern Athletic Conference] the past two years. The Big Seven is still a tough football league, but the playing field will be more fair for our kids."
Riverside will rely on a run-based spread offense led by seniors Marcel Cleckley (5-8, 140, WR/DB), Dalton Hewitt (5-10, 185, RB/OLB) and junior Garrett Bishop (5-10, 225, HB/LB).
Junior Jason Dambach (6-3, 185), who threw for 808 yards and nine touchdowns last season, is back as the Panthers starting quarterback. Shane Reich (6-2, 225, Sr., OT/DE) is expected to play a key role on both sides of the ball.