By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY
(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of stories about 2021 seniors playing on the 100th edition of the Heber Springs Panthers.)
Senior tackle Thad Bray is ready to become part of Heber Springs Panther football history.
Bray, a two-year starter on the offensive line, and his teammates will step into Panther Stadium for the program’s 100th year of competition when the Panthers host Harding Academy on Friday night.
“Honestly, that is very surprising,” he said. ” I never knew Heber football had been playing football for 100 years. It will be a special year to all of us.”
Players will wear decals on the back of their helmets celebrating the 100th season.
“The players have been talking with coach (E.G. Dew, who played for the Panthers during the 1980s) about players from the past,” Bray said. “We want to be like those players and do well.”
Bray is a longtime Panther, starting in the peewee program. He likes the direction of the program and wants to be a part of the team that helps the program to turn the corner.
“It still feels strange because of Covid,” said Bray while referring to the effect of Covid-19. “The players hope to make this season a good one. It’s good that we finally are playing another team. The scrimmage at Beebe was fun. Our goal is to improve every game together.”