Pyrrhic victory for Lady Panthers in home finale

Heber Springs’ Claudia Newberry goes up for a shot against at Clarksville defender in action that Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers walked off the court feeling like they lost, despite a 36-30 win against Clarksville in the regular season basketball finale Friday.

Heber Springs (8-4 in 4-4A, 16-8 overall) and Clarksville (8-4 in conference, 12-14 overall) finished in a tie for second place.

Clarksville earned the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament on a tiebreaker.

Jillian Herring made a free throw, giving Heber Springs a 36-28 lead and the points to earn the No. 2 seed with six seconds left in the game, but Clarksville’s Autumn Miller drove the length of the floor and scored with point sixths of a second left.

“We were trying to get back on defense to defend the final shot,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “She (Miller) got loose and we didn’t get in front of her.”

Heber Springs will play the Ozark-Dardanelle winner at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals at Dardanelle. Wednesday’s winner will a regional tournament berth.

“The girls felt that way, but they need to not do that,” said Riddle about falling short of the No. 2 seed. “A win is a win anytime. I’m proud how they fought and beat a good team. We are looking forward to the tournament.”

Herring led the Lady Panthers with 17 points. Claudia Newberry had 11 points. Miller scored 12 points for Clarksville.

“Our shots were not falling in the first half,” Riddle said. “We started to make shots in the second half. Jillian got good shots by driving to the basket. We rebounded and held them to 30 points, which is playing good defense.”

Each team led once by three points during the first quarter. Newberry scored eight points, but Clarksville stayed close and pulled to within 10-9 by the end of the opening quarter.

Ellie Riddle scored to start the second quarter, but Clarksville reclaimed the lead with five consecutive points.

Herring’s 3-pointer gave Heber Springs a 15-14 lead. Clarksville converted a three-point play and led 17-15 at halftime.

Clarksville led 19-15 early in the third quarter. The Lady responded with an 11-1 scoring run and built a 26-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Heber Springs maintained a five-to-seven lead throughout the fourth quarter.

“It is not the end of the season and we are still playing basketball,” Riddle said. “We beat both teams (Ozark and Dardanelle) during the regular season. It’s difficult sometimes to be a team for the third time. Regardless which team we play, we will come out and play hard.”

FEBRUARY 14 BOXSCORE 
Clarksville    9 8  5  8 - 30
Heber Springs 10 5 11 10 - 36
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (30): Autumn Miller 12, Emmaline Rieder 8, Morgan Douglas 5, Rebekah Guess 3, Parker Banning 2.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Jillian Herring 17, Claudia Newberry 11, Ashley Spanel 3, Ellie Riddle 3, Mary Shearer 2. 

FEBRUARY 11 BOXSCORE
at Morrilton
Heber Springs  22  8   9   6 - 45
Morrilton      11 10  13  16 - 50
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (45): Libby Stutts 18, Claudia Newberry 16, Jillian Herring 6, Ellie Riddle 5 
MORRILTON SCORING (50): Cheyanne Kemp 17, Kennedy Reel 14, Ali Jo Dunlap 10, Grace Brown 4, A'mya Everette 3
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Panthers fall to Clarksville on Senior Night

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin looks to get past a Clarksville defender in action at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Panthers finished the regular season with a 77-54 loss to Clarksville at the Panther Den on Friday.

Heber Springs (1-13 in 4-4A Conference, 1-23 overall) and Dover tied for eighth place. The Panthers were awarded the No. 7 seed for the conference tournament by winning a coin toss and now switch their focus to the 4-4A Conference basketball tournament.

The Panthers will play Subiaco Academy in the first round of the tournament at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Wyatt Sanders, Dalton McCollum and Adam Martin were among the seniors recognized between the girls’ and boys’ games.

Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said Sanders tore tendons in his ankle.

Sanders stepped on the court for the opening tip-off and received a pass before returning to the bench.

“We wanted to honor him (Sanders) at the beginning of the game,” Johnson said. “It was very emotional to say goodbye to he and the other seniors.”

Clarksville started the game by making three 3-pointers. The Panthers called timeout and changed from a zone defense to a man-to-man.

Heber Springs outscored Clarksville 9-8 for the remainder of the first quarter and trailed 17-9 going into the second quarter.

“We played the man defense well,” Johnson said. “We ran out of gas during the second half. The players played with a lot heart. This team will never quit and they will play until the end of the game.”

Clarksville defeated the Panthers by five points, but Cole Clark, who scored 17 points in Friday’s game,  didn’t play in the game at Clarksville.

Martin scored 20 points for the Panthers. McCollum had 13 points and Garrett Hudspeth finished with 12 points. Garrett Waddill led Clarksville with 21 points. Braden Payne had 18 points.

“The first game was more of a defensive battle,” Johnson said. “The offenses were clicking for both teams in this game. Clarksville likes to shoot 3-pointers and made 11 for the game.

Hudspeth connected on a jumper and reduced Clarksville’s lead to 17-11 early in the second quarter.

Clarksville regained the momentum and increased the lead to 10 points.

Heber Springs pulled to within 23-18, but Clarksville held on and took a 26-20 halftime lead.

Clarksville dominated the third quarter, outscored Heber Springs 30-17, and led 56-27 going into the fourth quarter.

Johnson said the team will move forward and focus on the tournament.

“We will take the same approach like the regular season for Tuesday’s game,” he said. “The players will battle. We hope to surprise teams at the tournament.”

FEBRUARY 14 BOXSCORE
Clarksville  17  9 30 21 - 77
Heber Springs 9 11 17 17 - 54
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (77): Garrett Waddill 21, Braden Payne 18, Cole Clark 17, Miles Castleman 8, Owen Ashlock 6, John Case 5, Gabe Gregory 2.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (54): Adam Martin 20, Dalton McCollum 13, Garrett Hudspeth 12, Zach Thomas 8.  

FEBRUARY 11 BOXSCORE
at Morrilton
Heber Springs  6   7   8   7 - 28
Morrilton     16  23  11  14 - 64
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (28): Dalton McCollum 14, Adam Martin 6, Wyatt Sanders 6, Zach Thomas 2
MORRILTON SCORING (64): Devin Foster 13, Riley Wade 12, Nevin Williams 9, Darrius Allison 7, Nate Zachary 6, Keevon Moore 5, Julian Brockman 4, Bugg Rector 4, Markel Swinton 2, B.J. Black 2
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR BOYS BASKETBALL
2019-2020 SCHEDULE RESULTS
FINAL RECORD: 1-24
FINAL 4A-4 RECORD: 1-13
November 21 - Riverview 68, Heber Springs 36
November 26 - Clinton 71, Heber Springs 35
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 44, Heber Springs 21 #
December 5 - South Side Bee Branch 50, Heber Springs 49 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 37, Dover 32 ^
December 12 - South Side Bee Branch 64, Heber Springs 53
December 13 - Marshall 69, Heber Springs 43
December 16 - White County Central 65, Heber Springs 43
December 20 - Ozark 69, Heber Springs 34 ^
December 26 - Rose Bud 68, Heber Springs 65 (OT) *
December 27 - Batesville 72, Heber Springs 60 *
December 28 - Mayflower 66, Heber Springs 41 *
January 7 - Pottsville 59, Heber Springs 26 ^
January 10 - Subiaco Academy 47, Heber Springs 28 ^
January 14 - Dardanelle 70, Heber Springs 13 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 38, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 58, Heber Springs 43 ^
January 24 - Dover 55, Heber Springs 50 ^
January 28 - Pottsville 68, Heber Springs 49 ^
January 31 - Ozark 60, Heber Springs 29 ^
February 4 - Dardanelle 67, Heber Springs 47 ^
February 7 - Subiaco Academy 54, Heber Springs 23 ^
February 11 - Morrilton 64, Heber Springs 28 ^
February 14 - Clarksville 77, Heber Springs 54 ^
February 17 - Subiaco Academy 69, Heber Springs 40 $

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest) 
(* - Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic at Heber Springs)
($ - Denotes 4A-4 district tournament contest at Dardanelle)
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Panthers drop heartbreaker to Pirates

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin dribbles to the basket past Dover’s Robbie Flowers at the Panther Den Friday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

JANUARY 24, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Dover’s outside-inside combination of Josh Besterfeldt and Caden Frazier prevailed in the final minute against the Heber Springs Panthers at the Panther Den Friday.

Besterfeldt made a 3-pointer to give Dover a 51-49 lead with 49 seconds left in the game as the Pirates defeated Heber Springs 55-50 in a 4-4A Conference basketball game.

Frazier and Ross Laffoon led Dover with 15 points. Besterfeldt had 14 points. Dalton McCollum scored 22 points for the Panthers, followed by Adam Martin with 21 points.

“We did a good job of taking Besterfeldt out of the game until late,” Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said. “Dover adjusted and got the ball to Frazier on the onside and we don’t have a players with height that could match up against him. We tried to double-team Frazier, but he would pass the ball back to Besterfeldt.”

McCollum and Martin, who are the team’s leading scorers on the season, each fouled out in the final two minutes.

“It hurt losing them late in the game,” Johnson said. “They always give the team great leadership and they are good ballhandlers.”

McCollum’s field goal started a 12-4 scoring run midway through the first quarter. The Panthers led 18-11 going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs increased its lead to 27-17 late in the first half. Dover responded by scoring two field goals as the Panthers led 27-21 at halftime.

The third quarter remained close and Heber Springs emerged with a 39-33 lead going into the fourth quarter.

“We played with a lot of intensity throughout the game,” Johnson said. “The players loved the big crowd and the loud student section. They were playing for the crowd, which inspired them. I’m proud of the way they played.”

Heber Springs (1-7 in conference, 1-17 overall) face a two-game road trip. The Panthers will play at Pottsville Tuesday and then go to Ozark on Friday.

“We will be playing two good teams,” Johnson said. “Both games will be tough matchups.”

JANUARY 24, 2020 BOXSCORE
Dover at Heber Springs
Dover         11 10 12 22 - 55
Heber Springs 18  9 12 11 - 50
DOVER SCORING (55): Caden Frazier 15, Russ Laffoon 15, Josh Besterfeldt 14, Leighton Alexander 7, Robbie Flowers 3, Landen Parker 1
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (50): Dalton McCollum 24, Adam Martin 21, Garrett Hudspeth 4, Zach Thomas 1

JANUARY 17, 2020 BOXSCORE
Heber Springs at Clarksville
Clarksville  11 9 17 1 - 38
Heber Springs 9 9 14 0 - 32
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (38): Braden Payne 10, Garrett Waddill 6, John Case 6, Owen Ashlock 6, Cameron Patterson 5, Miles Castleman 5
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (32): Dalton McCollum 16, Garrett Hudspeth 8, Wyatt Sanders 3, Logan Monahan 3, Zach Thomas 2

JANUARY 10 BOXSCORE
Heber Springs at Subiaco Academy
Subiaco Academy 15 4 18 10 - 47
Heber Springs    4 7  2 15 - 28
SUBIACO ACADEMY SCORING (47): Johnathan Mercera 12, Jackson Frederick 11, Conner King 10, Ivan Martijn 8, Jude Percy-Allen 2, Jeadan Nieveld 2, Justin Luidens 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (28): Dalton McCollum 14, Adam Martin 8, Wyatt Sanders 4, Garrett Hudspeth 2
4A-4 SENIOR BOYS STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Morrilton            7-1     15-6
Ozark                6-2     13-7
Dardanelle           6-2     19-2 
Pottsville           4-4      6-10
Clarksville          4-4      8-12
Subiaco Academy      3-5      7-12
Heber Springs        1-7      1-17
Dover                1-7      5-16  
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR BOYS BASKETBALL
2019-2020 SCHEDULE RESULTS
RECORD: 1-17
4A-4 RECORD: 1-7
November 21 - Riverview 68, Heber Springs 36
November 26 - Clinton 71, Heber Springs 35
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 44, Heber Springs 21 #
December 5 - South Side Bee Branch 50, Heber Springs 49 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 37, Dover 32 ^
December 12 - South Side Bee Branch 64, Heber Springs 53
December 13 - Marshall 69, Heber Springs 43
December 16 - White County Central 65, Heber Springs 43
December 20 - Ozark 69, Heber Springs 34 ^
December 26 - Rose Bud 68, Heber Springs 65 (OT) *
December 27 - Batesville 72, Heber Springs 60 *
December 28 - Mayflower 66, Heber Springs 41 *
January 7 - Pottsville 59, Heber Springs 26 ^
January 10 - Subiaco Academy 47, Heber Springs 28 ^
January 14 - Dardanelle 70, Heber Springs 13 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 38, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 58, Heber Springs 43 ^
January 24 - Dover 55, Heber Springs 50 ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 7 - Subiaco Academy ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest) 
(* - Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic at Heber Springs)
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Lady Panthers hold Dover for key 4A-4 win

Heber Springs’ Ellie Riddle gets past Dover’s Avery Reichert in action Friday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

January 24, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers benefited from adjusting adjusted their perimeter defense against Dover at the Panther Den Friday.

The Lady Panthers (4-3 in 4-4A Conference, 13-7 overall) limited Dover to five 3-pointers and completed a season sweep with a 59-53 victory.

Dover (3-4 in conference, 12-8 overall) made 11 3-pointers earlier this season against Heber Springs.

The win kept the Lady Panthers in a third-place tie with Pottsville and moved one game ahead of Dover in the conference standings. In case a tiebreaker is necessary for seeding at the conference tournament, the Lady Panthers will hold the advantage over Dover.

“The threes kept them in the game at Dover,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We changed our defense by always having a player defending on the wing. We played mostly man-to-man in the second half to keep them from getting that big scoring run.”

Riddle said the players executed the defensive plan.

“We got lost on some of the threes Dover made because of transition” he said. “Dover found the open gaps. We played well, made free throws down the stretch and got rebounds.”

The Lady Panthers broke out of a recent offensive slump, led by Ellie Riddle, Libby Stutts and Jillian Herring, who scored 44 of the team’s 59 points.

Riddle led the offense with 18 points. Stutts scored 15 points and Herring had 11 points.

Avery Reichert scored 11 points for Dover, while Audrey Reichert finished with 10 points.

“We had one period of the game when we had shots and they would not fall,” Riddle said. “When Dover switched to a man defense, we took advantage of it with field goals in transition or by driving to the basket and drawing a foul.”

Stutts made a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter to break a 6-6 tie. Heber Springs never trailed again. Dover stayed close and pulled within one point twice and led 14-13 going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs increased its lead to eight points, but it never reached double digits. The Lady Panthers withstood Dover’s challenges and had a 34-25 halftime lead.

The Lady Panthers retained the momentum during the third quarter, but Dover didn’t make it easy. The Lady Pirates reduced Heber Springs’ lead to 44-39 going into the fourth quarter.

Dover trailed 46-44 early in the fourth quarter, but it never pulled closer.

“Ellie made shots in transition during the first half,” coach Riddle said. “Jillian and Libby did good jobs driving against Dover for shots in the second half. You need that in close games.”

Heber Springs hopes for a duplicate performance at Pottsville starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“Every game will be big for the remainder of the season,” Riddle said. “Our focus will be on Pottsville. We should have defeated them earlier at home. We need to play with the same mentality as we did against Dover. We need another win.”

JANUARY 24 BOXSCORE
Dover at Heber Springs
Dover         13  12  14  14 - 53
Heber Springs 14  20  10  15 - 59
DOVER SCORING (53): Avery Reichert 11, Amelia Besterfeldt 10, Audrey Reichert 9, Kaylee Singleton 8, Faith Bowden 5, Gracie Bowden 5, Jacqueline Fields 3, Haley Villareal 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (59): Ellie Riddle 18, Libby Stutts 15, Jillian Herring 11, Claudia Newberry 8, Mary Shearer 4, Ashley Spanel 3

JANUARY 17 BOXSCORE
Heber Springs at Clarksville
Clarksville    14 13  4 17 - 48
Heber Springs   5 11 10 15 - 41
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (48): Autumn Miller 13, Abby Domerese 11, Emmaline Rieder 10, Kenleigh Rieder 9, Myra Smith 5
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (41): Jillian Herring 14, Libby Stutts 13, Claudia Newberry 12, Ashley Spanel 2
 4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Clarksville          6-1     10-10
Morrilton            6-1     13-5
Heber Springs        4-3     13-7
Pottsvile            4-3     10-7
Dover                3-4     12-8  
Ozark                1-6     13-7 
Dardanelle           0-6      2-18
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 13-7
4A-4 RECORD: 4-3
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 48, Heber Springs 41 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 52, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 24 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 53 ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs) 
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Hendrix Women take Early Bird Invitational

August 31, 2019

By HENDRIX SPORTS INFORMATION

CLARKSVILLE – Men’s and women’s cross country teams opened up the 2019 season by taking part in Ozarks’ Early Bird Invite at Clarksville Saturday morning.

On the men’s side, the Warriors finished in second place as freshmen Gideon Drake finished in eighth-place individually with a 19:09.3 mark in the 5K (3.11 miles) field.

On the women’s side, Hendrix topped Philander Smith and host Ozarks to win the meet. Senior Mackenzie Gearin finished first and recorded a 14:02.3 mark in the 3K (2 miles) field while sophomore Rachel Allen finished second and recorded a 14:33.0 mark.

MEET INFORMATION
Event: Early Bird Invite
Date(s): Aug. 31
Host: University of the Ozarks | Clarksville
Site: U of O Cross Country Course

WARRIORS’ TIME AND PLACES
Men
– Gideon Drake – 8th place – 19:09.3 
– Michael Miller – 11th place – 19:28.6
– Connor Escajeda – 14th place – 21:00.6
– Ian Campbell – 20th place – 15:52.9

Women
– Mackenzie Gearin – 1st place – 14:02.3
– Rachel Allen – 2nd place – 14:33.0
– Victoria Ortega – 3rd place – 14:51.5
– Tali Ramirez – 7th place – 15:55.1
– Liesl Krone – 10th place – 17:03.4
– Bailey Brya – 12th place – 17:42.7

UP NEXT
The Warriors will return to Conway Sept. 7 to take part in the Central Arkansas Invite across town.

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Ozarks looking to Repeat History

August 30, 2019

By OZARKS SPORTS INFORMATION

Michael Harris leads the Eagles into the 2019 season.
Photo by Ozarks Sports Information

CLARKSVILLE – The men’s cross country team made history last season and hope for more succes in 2019. 

The program had its first-ever NCAA III national qualifier. Junior Nathan Rankin qualified for nationals after receiving an at-large bid following his performance at the NCAA III regional race. 

Rankin, who’s fastest 8K time of the season was 25:28.5, is one of a number of standout runners on the team.

Senior Michael Harris is a two-time All-Conference runner and senior Jonathon Wood has made his mark on the program.

A large junior class fuels even higher expectations for the program, according to head coach Heidi Pinkerton. 

“The men’s team is looking strong and they are ready to accomplish big goals this season. We want to win conference and finish among the top-10 at Regionals. We are hoping both Nathan and Michael qualify for Nationals. Jacob and Kenny are strong freshman who can help us achieve our goals. The guys are pushing each other in training.”

Head Coach Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRz4bTHtSFY

Returners:
 Dakota Fritts (Jr.), Michael Harris (Sr.), Jaeden Miller (Jr.), Nathan Rankin (Jr.), Edwin Rivera (Jr.), Jonathon Wood (Sr.), Aaron Capehart (Sr.), Misael Perez (So.), Petron Brown (So.)                                                                             

Newcomers: Kenny Fernandez (Fr.), Jacob Mills (Fr.), Francisco Pina (Fr.), Keeshon Towles (Fr.)

Fastest 8K time in 2018: Nathan Rankin (25:28.5)

Individual Championships in 2018: Michael Harris (Arkansas D-III Championship), Michael Harris (U of O Invitational)

Highest Team Finish in 2018: 1st (Arkansas D-III Championships) and 1st (U of O Invitational)

Coach Pinkerton Quote:
“We want to win conference and finish among the top-10 at Regionals.”

2018 Post-Season: NCAA III Nationals, NCAA III Regionals, American Southwest Conference Championships

2018 National Qualifier: Nathan Rankin (So.)

2018 NCAA III Regional Finish: 19 of 33

2018 ASC Championship Finish: 4th of 12

2018 NCAA III Regional Participants: Nathan Rankin, Michael Harris, Juan Sanchez, Dakota FrittsLuis GarciaJaeden MillerEdwin Rivera

2018 Conference Awards: Nathan Rankin (All-Conference First Team), Michael Harris (All-Conference First Team)

2018 National Awards: Nathan Rankin (All-Region), Michael Harris (All-Region)

2018 ASC Runner of the Week: Nathan Rankin (twice)

2019 Schedule
August
31 Early Bird Eagles Opener (Arkansas D-III Championships)

SEPTEMBER
14 University of the Ozarks Invitational
21 at Rhodes College Invitational @ Memphis, Tenn.

OCTOBER
5 at NCAA III Pre-Nationals @ Louisville, Ky.
19 at Little Rock Invitational @ Little Rock

NOVEMBER
2 at ASC Championships @ Abilene, Texas 
16 at NCAA III Regionals @ Memphis, Tenn. 
23 at NCAA III Nationals @ Louisville, Ky.

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Ozarks rebuilding with Newcomers

August 29, 2019

By OZARKS SPORTS INFORMATION

Star player Richard Souffrant is the team's leading scorer heading into the 2019 season.
Ozarks sophomore Richard Souffrant. Photo by OZARKS SPORTS INFORMATION

CLARKSVILLE – The University of the Ozarks men’s soccer team lost seven starters from a year ago, but the 2019 Eagles could be even more dynamic behind a talented and diverse core of incoming players. 

The Eagles feature players from six different countries to form a strong nucleus for fourth-year head coach Aaron Brueckner.

After a tough start to the 2018 season, the Eagles rebounded into an American Southwest Conference championship contender, qualifying for the playoffs. 

“Last year was a great example in that we had a talented team with a lot of experience, but we started 0-6-1,” said Brueckner. “It took one big win, and then from there we got the results and were one of the top teams in the league. Sometimes you have to go through a difficult period to get to the greatness.”

All-Conference players Logan ValestinTruman Hensley and Richard Souffrant return in 2019. Valestin, a junior two-year starter at goalkeeper, owned a 1.35 goals against average last season and posted two shutouts. Souffrant, a sophomore midfielder, scored six goals and recorded two assists. Hensley, a sophomore, is one of the top defensive players in the region. 

“Logan is really maturing into that leadership role. He is doing a good job of leading by example. We are asking Truman to play a bigger role on the team. Richard had a wonderful year.” Brueckner is pleased with the way his team has come together. “Our biggest mission in the offseason was to be united and the guys have done that. With a young team comes inexperience. I have no doubt they will have each other’s back, but they will be tested at some point and will need to mature as a team. We need to deal with adversity in order to be successful this season.” 

The playoff-rich program has advanced to the conference tournament all three years under Breuckner, but he and his staff are not focusing on post-season play. “We want to challenge our guys to go day-to-day with the best training session. We want them focused on the game at hand. We are not worried about the playoffs now. We are worried about getting better every day.” 

Preseason Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JdWLH1Nj3U&feature=youtu.be

Returning Starters:
 Richard Souffrant (MF), Drew Mott (F), Truman Hensley (D), Logan Valestin(GK)

Newcomers: Anthony Herrera (GK), Giorgio Baudin (GK), Daniel Gomez (MF), Pedro Gallaga (F), Norlin Vicente (MF), Juan Cano (F), Charleus Emmanuel Ritch (F), Tapiwa Manhungo (F), Gaetan Jean Louis (F), Chris Reyes (MF), Alain Claude (D), Cade Mikish (D), Devin Pearson (D), Ruaya Zamora (MF), Jackson Rogers  (F), Harry Hilton (D), Pierre Ronaldo De Theandre  (MF), Sebastien Bathard (MF), Sebastian Rodriguez (GK)                  

2018 Top Goal Scorer: Richard Souffrant (6)

2018 Assist Leader: Richard Souffrant (2)

2018 Point Leader: Richard Souffrant (14)

All-Conference Players Returning: Logan ValestinTruman HensleyRichard Souffrant

2018 Record (ASC):
 8-8-3 (6-4-1)

2018 Conference Finish: 5th

2018 Tournament: 
1st round loss against East Texas Baptist University

Program Playoff Appearances: 16

Coach Brueckner Quote:
“Sometimes you have to go through a difficult period to get to the greatness.” 

2019 Schedule

August
21 vs Ouachita Baptist University (exhibition)   
24 vs Alumni Match (exhibition)                          
^30 – Nebraska Wesleyan University                      

September
^1 -Central College                                  
7  vs Williams Baptist University                        
14 vs Ecclesia College                                         
18 @ Hendrix College                                            
21 @ Rhodes College                                           
26 @ *Sul Ross State University                             
28 @ *Howard Payne University                            

October
3 vs *Concordia University Texas                      
5  vs *Mary Hardin-Baylor                                   
10 @ *Hardin-Simmons University                         
12 @ *McMurry University                                       
17 vs *LeTourneau University                             
19 vs %*East Texas Baptist University                 
24 vs *Louisiana College                                       
26 vs *Belhaven University                                   

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Ozarks Women looking to make Strides

August 30, 2019

By OZARKS SPORTS INFORMATION

CLARKSVILLE – The women’s cross country team at the University of Ozarks continues to make strides as a program and aims for sustained success in 2019.

The 2018 team won one home race and finished second in the other. Head Coach Heidi Pinkerton brought in a crop of four talented freshmen to add to the current team. 

Overall, Pinkeron is excited to see how the season will play out. “I am excited to see what we will accomplish this season. We don’t have one girl that is minutes ahead of everyone else. We have a young group. We have a good pack. I think if they work together, they can do some bigger things than last year. The girls are on board and want to improve. They are doing the small things and are holding one another accountable.” Silvia Chavez returns for her sophomore campaign. “I think Silvia will do some great things for the team. Sydney will be  right there with Silvia.”

Head Coach Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eUMfwxh_k8&t=8s

Returners: 
Areli Moreno (Sr.), Silvia Chavez (So.)                                                                      

Newcomers: Andrea Garcia (Fr.), Leslie Hernandez (Jr.), Sydney Pyle (Fr.), Anya Sifuentes (Fr.), Stephanie Trevino (Fr.)

Fastest 5K time in 2018: 19:16.5 (Hannah Smith at Little Rock Invitational)

Individual Championships in 2018: 
Hannah Smith (Arkansas D-III Championships)

Highest Team Finish in 2018: 
1st (Arkansas D-III Championships)

Coach Pinkerton Quote:“I think if they work together, they can do some bigger things than last year.” 

2018 Post-Season: NCAA III Regionals, American Southwest Conference Championships

2018 NCAA III Regional Finish: Individual

2018 ASC Championship Finish: 8th of 12

2018 NCAA III Regional Participants: Hannah SmithSilvia Chavez, Chauzney Hooks

2018 Conference Awards: Hannah Smith (All-Conference First Team)

2018 Schedule
August
31 Early Bird Eagles Opener (Arkansas D-III Championships)

SEPTEMBER
14 University of the Ozarks Invitational
21 at Rhodes College Invitational @ Memphis, Tenn.

OCTOBER
5 at Chile Pepper Festival @ Fayetteville
19 at Little Rock Invitational @ Little Rock

NOVEMBER
2 at ASC Championships @ Abilene, Texas 
16 at NCAA III Regionals @ Memphis, Tenn. 
23 at NCAA III Nationals @ Louisville, Ky.

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Heber Springs opens Volleyball Season with Little Rock Hall

Panthers are coming off a program first state tournament appearance

Heber Springs volleyball coach Andrea Riggs gives instructions during a recent practice at the Panther Den. The Panthers open their 2019 season on Tuesday at home against Little Rock Hall. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By Philip Seaton

HEBER SPRINGS – Last season was a year of firsts for the young Heber Springs volleyball program.

The Panthers had their first winning season in the program’s history which also resulted with their first state tournament berth.

Heber Springs will look to repeat on that 2018 performance when they open play today with a nonconference match with Little Rock Hall at the Panther Den beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Despite a three-set loss to the host Mena in the 4A state tournament in 2018, coach Andrea Riggs’ squad finished with a 13-8 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the 4A-Central conference in the seventh season of the sport at the Heber Springs.

“They have already said that (reaching the state tournament) has helped them and they know what to expect,” Riggs said. “That level of play helps any team. 

“We lost two big front row players (from last year), and replacing with two inexperienced players, that’s tough but we are going to try some things.”

One of the things that will be tried this year for the program is another first — a junior high team.

“We had been starting in the ninth grade,” Riggs said. “We’ve been behind the curve, some teams we play actually start volleyball in the fourth grade.”

She added that will help in building the program over the long term.

“We are always rebuilding, there hasn’t been a year where we haven’t been in this situation,” Riggs said. “Until we get something established where we have a good competitive group of junior high kids that we can move up, and maybe have some 10th-graders getting some varsity play, like you see with a traditional basketball program, then those things will help us long term.”

Though the junior high team will not compete in a conference this season because of the lateness of declaring the program, Riggs said that junior high team has potential.

“It will hands down be the best we’ve had at that age,” she said.

While the future of the program looks bright, Heber Springs returns four players from last season that saw significant varsity action.

Seniors McKenzie Becerra, Katelyn Vanlandingham and Zoe Monroe, and junior Ellie Skelton.

“Ellie is a setter, and she pretty much runs the court,” Riggs said. “McKenzie is the libero and she is pretty much our best defensive player. Katelyn is a super strong hitter, sees the court well and has great volleyball knowledge, while Zoey is a good all-around player that is going to work hard.”

Riggs credited all four varsity returners with being good servers and said overall that serving will be one of the strengths of the team.

“We will be shallow on our hitting,” she said. “Hopefully that will progress as the year goes.”

Several seniors will be moving up from the junior varsity squad and are expected to see significant playing time this season.

“Cheyenne Kent does a good job blocking the ball which is nice, and we’ll be looking for her hitting game to improve,” Riggs said. “Mayra Leal and Abi Finkbeiner are (also) both moving up from junior varsity.”

She said that is typical for her team with seniors seeing their first significant varsity experience their senior season.

“That’s when most are ready to play,” Riggs said.

A couple of underclassmen may be the exception to that rule as Riggs said that sophomore Kiley Wilson may see some varsity action, “if I have to pull another hitter, might have to go to her.” Junior Felicia Wildmon may also see varsity of action according to Riggs.

The Panthers will most likely go with a nine-player rotation.

“That is more than in years past,” Riggs said. “We are having to play on different strengths, having to move some things around and shift some things.

“There some things we haven’t necessarily run in the past that we are running this year to try to play on the different strengths we do have.”

Morrillton, which was undefeated in conference play last season, and Pulaski Academy, a 4A state semifinalist team in 2018, are expected to be the teams to beat in 4A-Central play according to Riggs. Other teams in the blended 5A-4A conference are Lonoke (a state tournament team last year), Joe T. Robinson, Clarksville, Dover and Forrest City.

When asked what it will take for Heber Springs to make it back to the state tournament, Riggs said, “work hard on every single play.”

She continued, “Are they playing the ball smart? They are going to have to think and be smart. We are not going to have the tallest girls on the court, so we are going to have to outwork them. If they go out and work, we’ll do fine. If they don’t, we’ll get beat.”

Heber Springs’ 2019 Schedule

The 2019 Heber Springs Panther Volleyball Team

The 2019 Heber Springs Senior Volleyball Players

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Clarksville takes Top Honors at Three-Team Match

August 16, 2019

CLARKSVILLE – Clarksville took home first-place honors in a three-team match at the Clarksville Country Club.

Boys Team Scoring: Clarskville (130), Russellville (143) and Pottsville (154).

Clarskville boys results: Braden Payne (41) (Medalist honors); Cole Clark (43) (Second overall); Braxton Payne (46) (Fourth overall); John Foster Case (50); and Isaac Chappell (56).

Girls Team Scoring: Clarksville (142), Russellville (151) while Pottsville did not have a team score.

Clarksville Girls Results: Parker Banning (46) (Tied for medalist honors); Morgan Douglas (47) (3rd); Abby Domerese (49) (5th); Emily Qualls (53) (6th).

Source: Clarksville High School Golf Facebook Page

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