HSHS All-Decade Team: 1970s

The 1970s era of Heber Springs football started slowly but ended with a bang as the Panthers won their first outright conference title since 1952 in 1979 and also shared two other conference crowns.

Morgan Outlaw took over the program for the 1970 and 71 seasons. The Panthers went 2-6-1 in 1970 closing out the season with wins over Cotton Plant and Highland. In 1971, it was wins at Bald Knob, Greenbrier and Cotton Plant that put the final mark at 3-6.

Robert Medley led the Panthers during the 1972 and 73 seasons as they competed in the 3A-West conference with Mountain View, Bald Knob, McCrory, Beebe, Cotton Plant and Augusta. Former Panther standout Dennis DeBusk would join the staff as an assistant in 1972 as Heber Springs finished the year with a 3-3-2 mark. The Panthers tied Clinton and Bald Knob and defeated Greenbrier and Cotton Plant, and then closed out the season with a win over Cross County from the 3A-East, as the final week of the season pitted teams from the East and West to determine final District 3 standings. In 1972, the Panthers managed wins over Greenbrier and Cotton Plant to finished 2-8.

Clyde Darrough would take over the program for the 1974 and 1975 seasons. The Panthers would only manage a 2-8 campaign in 1974 with wins over Greenbrier and Marshall in conference play as Heber Springs was in the new 12A conference along with Mountain View, Clinton.

Vilonia would join the 12A conference in 1975 and the Panthers would start the season 5-0 with wins over Concord, DeValls Bluff, Salem, Greenbrier and Clinton before being tripped up in week 6 by Harding Academy. The Panthers would drop Mountain View and Marshall to set at 7-1 but a week 9 loss to Vilonia cost Heber Springs and outright conference title. Following a tough nonconference loss to Bald Knob in week 10, McCrory would end the Panthers season in the first round of the playoffs (the first playoff berth since the 1952 season).

Darrough left following the 1975 season and DeBusk was promoted to head coach. The Panthers would go 8-3 and claim another share of the 12A crown, falling to Don Campbell’s Corning Bodcats in a first round playoff contest.

The 1977 season saw the Panthers keep the same conference foes but with a new conference name, the 1AA-East. Heber Springs would go 8-2 but back-t0-back losses to Greenbrier and Clinton cost the Panthers a chance at postseason play. Heber Springs downed Pulaski Academy, North Pulaski, Bald Knob in nonconference play before closing the season with a win over Augusta.

The 1978 squad would finish at 5-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play (Yellville-Summit joined the conference in 1978) as the Panthers would claim nonconference wins over Bald Knob and Pulaski Academy.

The 1979 season would be an historic one for the Panthers. Heber Springs would win an outright 1AA-East crown with a 6-0 record and earn the school’s first playoff victory. The Panthers started the season 3-0 with wins over Joe T. Robinson, Harding Academy and Bald Knob, before Beebe tripped up Heber Springs in week 4. The Panthers would lose again until McCrory stopped the Panthers in the second round of the playoffs.

The 1970s HSHS All-Decade Football Team

(Position, Player and Last Season Played)

OFFENSE

WR – David Brown (1979)

WR – Mark Duncan (1971)

OL – John Bergin (1975)

OL – Steve Butler (1972)

OL – Steve Crumpler (1976)

OL – John Davis (1976)

OL – Joe Bob Powell (1979)

QB – Louis Lee (1973)

RB – Curtis Henry (1978)

RB – Larry Kennedy (1975)

RB – Layne Tubbs (1977)

K – Russ Olmstead (1976)

AP – Brock Duckworth (1972)

AP – Buster Gaylor (1977)

AP – John Hvasta (1978)

DEFENSE

DL – Donald Elslander (1974)

DL – Mike Greene (1978)

DL – Billy Lindsey (1972)

DL – Roger Logan (1977)

DL – Jackie McPherson (1977)

LB – Terry Bittle (1979)

LB – Ronnie Martin (1977)

LB – Mason Reed (1979)

DB – Steve Plant (1973)

DB – Carl Cox (1975)

DB – Lance Lincoln (1978)

P – Ben Caston (1976)

AP – Thomas Heigle (1970)

AP –Bruce (Barker) Swan (1973)

AP – Bo Verser (1971)

PREVIOUS DECADES

The 1960s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1950s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1940s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1930s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1910s/20s HSHS All-Decade Team

Track Results: Heber Springs Wins Senior Girls Meet

March 14, 1978

Team: 1. Heber Springs (52); 2. Concord (31); 3. Judsonia Central (1).

High Jump: 1. Sabrina Long (HS), 5-0

110 Hurdles: 1. Birdsong (HS), 19.0; 2. Bell (HS), 19.4; 3. Paine (Concord), 21.8

Long Jump: 1. Stair (Concord), 15-0; 2. Brenda Alexander (HS), 14-6; 3. Sabrina Long (HS), 14-0; 4. Birdsong (HS), 13-9.5

100: 1. Brenda Alexander (HS), 11.7; 2. Stair (Concord), 13.0; 3. Allen (Concord), 13.2; 4. Barnett (Central), 13.3

440 Relay: 1. Heber Springs, 56.1; 2. Concord, 59.8

440: 1. Stair (Concord), 1:12.2; 2. Namie (HS), 1:19.3; 3. Allen (Concord), 1:20.6

880 Relay: 1. Heber Springs, 2:06.8; 2. Concord, 2:23.7

880: 1. Morrow (HS), 3:12.7; 2. Rose (HS), 3:23.5; 3. Namie (HS), 3:41.6

220: 1. Brenda Alexander (HS), 28.5; 2. Stair (Concord), 31.1; 3. Allen (Concord), 33.9; 4. Southerland (Concord), 36.4

Notes: Weather was sunny, cool and partly cloudy. Track surface was Red Dog clay. Scoring was 5-3-2-1.

Editor’s Note: Please leave help me Id these athletes by leaving their first names in the comments section below. These will not be published on the site, but corrected inside the story. Thanks!

Track Results: Bradford takes Heber Springs Senior Girls Panther Relays

April 4, 1978

Heber Springs Panther Relays

Team Results: 1. Bradford (64.5); 2. Heber Springs (59.5); 3. Kensett (25); 4. Rose Bud (23); 5. Marshall (9); 6. Mountain View (7); 7. Concord (0).

High-Point Award: Brenda Alexander, Heber Springs (25)

Long Jump: 1. Hart (Kensett), 16-2; 2. Birdsong (HS), 15-2; 3. Goad (Bradford), 15-1; 3. Brenda Alexander (HS), 15-1

Shot Put: 1. T. Goad (Bradford), 31-0; 2. Wingert (RB), 30-10; 3. Barnett (RB), 30-7; 4. Thompson (Bradford), 30-1; 5. Brenda Alexander (HS), 29-7

Discus: 1. Brenda Alexander (HS), 90-7.75; 2. Young (RB), 87-9; 3. Namie (HS), 86-8.25; 4. T. Goad (Bradford), 78-10.5; 5. L. Goad (Bradford), 77-0

High Jump: 1. Sabrina Long (HS), 5-0; 2. Phillips (Bradford), 4-8; 3. Taylor (Bradford), 4-6

440 Relay: 1. Heber Springs, 54.0; 2. Kensett, 56.7; 3. Bradford, 57.0; 4. Rose Bud, 58.3; 5. Marshall, 58.4

110 Hurdles: 1. Phillips (Bradford), 17.3; 2. Birdsong (HS), 17.8; 3. Whitener (Bradford), 17.85; 4. Dructor (RB), 18.9; 5. Bell (HS), 19.2

100: 1. Brenda Alexander (HS), 12.1; 2. Hart (Kensett), 12.8; 3. Burlison (RB), 13.0; 4. Barnett (HS), 13.2; 5. Hurst (Bradford), 13.25

880 Relay: 1. Heber Springs, 1:55.1; 2. Bradford, 1:59.3; 3. Kensett, 2:00.4; Rose Bud, 2:04; 5. Marshall, 2:07.5

440: 1. Pigg (Bradford), 1:05.6; 2. Whitner (Bradford), 1:08.4; 3. Parsons (MV), 1:10.7; 4. George (Marshall), 1:13.8; 5. Horton (Marshall), 1:15.6

880: 1. Pigg (Bradford), 2:36.5; 2. Williams (MV), 2:51.4; 3. Goad (Bradford), 2:55.9; 4. Morrow (HS), 2:58.4; Moore (HS), 3:00.6

220: 1. Brenda Alexander (HS), 27.2; 2. Hart (Kensett), 28.8; 3. Burlison (RB), 28.9; 4. Phillips (Bradford), 29.2; 5. Williams (Kensett), no time available

880 Medley Relay: 1. Bradford, 2:02.3; 2. Marshall, 2:11; 3. Kensett, 2:12; 4. Heber Springs, 2:13.8

Notes: Track surface was Red Dog clay. Weather was warm and sunny with a little wind. Scoring: 6-4-3-2-1.