By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY
UPDATED: After reconsideration, Heber Springs coach Todd Wood announced that his Panther football team have opted-in to participate in the 2020 4A state playoffs.
Heber Springs will now travel to northeast Arkansas on Friday to tangle with Trumann at 7 p.m. Friday in a play-in game. Ticket information will be announced by the school district.
The Wildcats are members of the 4A-3 conference and sport a 5-5 mark on the season. Heber Springs and Trumann have one common opponent, Southside Batesville. Trumann defeated the Southerners, 27-0, at home in week 2, while the Panthers defeated the Southerners, 22-17, on the road in week 8.
The winner of the Trumann/Heber Springs contest will play at Malvern (5-5) in the first-round the the playoffs.
During the playoffs, if a team does not play because of COVID, the other team will advance in the bracket with a “no contest”.
The Heber Springs Panthers ended the 2020 football season with a 34-24 loss to 2-4A Conference foe Little Rock Mills at Panther Stadium Friday.
Heber Springs, which will opt out of the playoffs, finished the year at 2-8 overall, 1-6 in conference play.
First-year head coach Todd Wood told the team after the game that he was proud of their effort and how much progress that they made from the start of the season to the end.
“You will come to the field Monday and turn in your equipment,” Wood said. “I’m so proud of all of you, whether you started, played on special teams and were on the scout team in practice. Thank you seniors for all that you did for the team this year. We will get into the weight room and start getting bigger, faster and stronger for the next season.”
The complete game story will be posted by Monday.