Panthers, Lady Panthers take second at district track meet

The Heber Springs Senior Girls track team pose with the 4A-4 district runner-up trophy. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers and Panthers fell short of their goals at the 4-4A Conference track and field meet, but came away with success.

The Panthers and Lady Panthers were runner-up in their respective divisions with 13 athletes qualifying for the Class 4A state meet in 16 events at Panther Stadium on Wednesday.

Freshman Parker Brown, who received the high-point award at last week’s junior high meet, scored 46 points and won the high-point award at Wednesday’s competition. Brown was the winner of the 100-meter dash, high jump and long jump and finished second in the 200-meter dash and triple jump.

Heber Springs freshman Parker Brown won the high point award the 4A-4 district track meet. Brown had also won the high point award at the 4A-4 junior high district meet on April 21. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“It was a good day,” Brown said. “I got a personal best in the long jump. Winning the high point again was a surprise.”

Heber Springs head boys’ coach Dale Cresswell said Brown’s performance was not a surprise to him.

“Parker is one of those athletes born with a lot of athletic abilty,” Cresswell said. “I knew he would score points.”

Kevin King was the other Panther who qualified in multi-events. King won the 200-meter dash and finished third in the 100-meter dash and the triple jump.
Nathan Poff claimed third place in the 1600-meter run and qualified for the state meet.

The Panthers scored 154.50 points, 18.50 points behind conference champion Ozark.

“It is always good to have a lot of personal bests and good performances,” Cresswell said. “We did well. The distance races were the main difference. Poff had a personal best in the 1600. We are working to become better in those events.”

Maygan Jarvis and Rylee Birmingham won multi-events for the Lady Panthers. Jarvis topped the field in the pole vault and discus. Birmingham won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.

Jaylea Hooten, runner-up for the girls’ high-point award, won the high jump and finished third in the long jump, and the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.

The Lady Panthers qualified in three relays for the state meet.

Jarvis, Addison Hudspeth, Natalie Buffalo and Cristina Garcia were third in the 800-meter relay. Natalie Buffalo, Jarvis, Garcia and Birmingham finished second in the 1600-meter relay. Riley Bailey, Allison Wildman, Sydney Buffalo and Vallie Cantrell were runner-up in the 3200-meter relay.

The Lady Panthers scored 119 points, 30 points behind conference winner Clarksville.

“I’m proud of the girls,” Heber Springs girls’ coach Hunter Davis said. “All you can from them is to give their best. I was pleased with the second-place finish. We had a lot of personal bests. We had good effort and left all out on the track.”

The state meet will be held at Nashville High School on Tuesday.

The Heber Springs senior boys track team pose with the runner-up trophy from the 4A-A district track meet. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

BOYS
Team totals — 1. Ozark 173; 2. Heber Springs 154.50; 3. Dardanelle 120; 4. Clarksville 104; 5. Pottsville 57; 6. Morrilton 54.50; 7. Subiaco Academy 23.
100-meter dash — 1. Parker Brown 11.72; 3. Kevin King 12:02; 6. Gabe Tate 12.25; 11. Bent McClain 12.91.
200-meter dash — 1. Kevin King 23.78; 2. Parker Brown 23.97; 3. Gabe Tate 25.11; 10. Alex Roy 26.23.
400-meter dash — 4. Gabe Tate 57.00; 15. Landon Leisenring 1:02.17; 16. Logan Cox 1:04.49; 20. Remington Bradley 1:08.74.
800-meter run — 4. Nathan Poff 2:17.62; 9. Thomas Spears 2:27.70; 10. Mason Harris 2:27.97; 14. Noah Cordes 2:37.03.
1600-meter run — 3. Nathan Poff 4:59.0; 8. Mason Harris 5:14.82; 11. Noah Cordes 5:22.92; 13. Reagan Buell 5:46.09.
3200-meter run — 5. Mason Harris 12:13.03; 6. Noah Cordes 12:24.26; 7. Reagan Buell 12:32.57; 9. Kevin Leal 13:14.56.
110-meter hurdles — 8. Evan Burgess 23.60.  
300-meter hurdles — 5. Bent McClain 47.71; 9. Judson Ogle 51.32; 12. Nathan Poff 54.74; 13. Evan Burgess 56.61.
400-meter relay — 5. Heber Springs (Colt Allen, Bent McClain, Landon Leisenring, Preston Roberson) 53.98.
800-meter relay — 6. Heber Springs (Colt Allen, Alex Roy, Bent McClain, Preston Roberson), 1:46.44.
1600-meter relay — 6. Heber Springs (Remington Bradley, Landon Leisenring, Logan Cox, Aaron Combs), 4:26.21.
3200-meter relay — 6. Heber Springs (Jonathan Henriquez, Colton Cole, Caleb Bradley, Jaxson Cox), 9:45.35.
High jump — 1. Parker Brown 6-0; 5. Nathan Poff 5-2; 6. Bent McClain 5-0.
Long jump — 1. Parker Brown 21-5; 5. Kevin King 19-4; 10. Nathan Poff 17-0; 15. Colt Allen 14-8.
Triple jump — 2. Parker Brown 40-8.50; 3. Kevin KIng 38-10; 8. Judson Ogle 32-10.25.
Shot put — 5. Preston Roberson 36-3.75; 8. Allen Colt 33-5; 11. Corbin Jones 31-3,75; 13. Tripp Young 29-9.50.
Discus — 5. Corbin Jones 88-1; 6. Alex Roy 88-0; 8. Tripp Young 85-0; 10. Remington Bradley 80-0.
GIRLS
Team totals — 1. Clarksville 149; 2. Heber Springs 119; 3. Ozark 97; 4. Pottsville 73; 5. Morrilton 59; 6. Dardanelle 56.
100-meter dash — 5. Jaylea Hooten 13.66; 10. Natalie Buffalo 14.47; 19. Lili Chaney 15.62.
200-meter dash — 4. Jaylea Hooten 28.20; 7. Natalie Buffalo 29.39; 8. Cristina Garcia 31.07.
400-meter dash — 6. Maygan Jarvis 1:06.65; 11. Cristina Garcia 1:12.52; 12. Lili Chaney 1:12.98.
800-meter run — 7. Vallie Cantrell 2:58.42; 11. Sydney Buffalo 3:01.36; 15. Riley Bailey 3:15.28; 16. Allison Wildman 3:18.26.
1600-meter run — 5. Vallie Cantrell 6:26.40; 8. Sydney Buffalo 6:40.75; 10. Allison Wildman 6:57.91.
3200-meter run — 4. Vallie Cantrell 14:14.70; 7. Sydney Buffalo 15:25.48; 8. Riley Bailey 15:45.14.
100-meter hurdles — 1. Rylee Birmingham 17.91; 3. Jaylea Hooten 18.48; 8. Samantha Gilley 20.33.
300-meter hurdles — 1. Rylee Birmingham 52.95; 3. Jaylea Hooten 55.66; 5. Samantha Gilley 57.43; 8. Maygan Jarvis 58.89.
400-meter relay — 6. Heber Springs (Ava Noble, Eva Jones, Mia Screeton, Lili Chaney), 1:03.78.
800-meter relay — 3. Heber Springs (Maygan Jarvis, Addison Hudspeth, Natalie Buffalo, Cristina Garcia), 2:00.72.
1600-meter relay — 2. Heber Springs (Natalie Buffalo, Maygan Jarvis, Cristina Garcia, Rylee Birmingham), 4:37.21.
3200-meter relay — 2. Heber Springs (Riley Bailey, Allison Wildman, Sydney Buffalo, Vallie Cantrell), 11:25.58.
High jump — 1. Jaylea Hooten 5-3; 9. Vallie Cantrell 4-4.
Pole vault — 1. Maygan Jarvis 9-4; 4. Ava Noble 8-0; 5. Samantha Gilley 7-6.
Long jump — 3. Jaylea Hooten 15-8; 5. Natalie Buffalo 15-5; 11. Addison Hudspeth 14-10; 15. Cristina Garcia 14-7.
Triple jump — 4. Addison Hudspeth 30-4.50; 15. Allison Wildman 24-2.75; 16. Eva Jones 23-8.50; 17. Sydney Buffalo 23-6.
Shot put — 11. Lili Chaney 21-7.50; 12. Miah Tharp 21-6.50; 16. Ava Little 19-6.50; 17. Lily Hendrix, 17-11.
Discus — 1. Maygan Jarvis 79-3; 5. Ava Little 67-10; 7. Miah Tharp 61-8; 16. Lily Hendrix 49-2.

Heber Springs cross country team heads to state meet

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs High School runners hope for better performances and compete for medals at the Class 4A state cross country championship at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs Friday.

The Lady Panthers, who were the 4-4A Conference runner-up, will start at 9 a.m. The Panthers, who were fourth at the conference meet, will go to the starting line at 9:45 a.m.

Three Lady Panthers, ranked sixth by Arkansas mile split, finished among the top 10 last week’s conference meet in Clarksville. Sydney Buffalo claimed fifth place with a time of 22:53.0. Maygan Jarvis (23:27.90) captured sixth place and Vallie Cantrell (23:30.20) was seventh. Riley Bailey (24:03.50) finished 11th, followed by Samantha Gilley (24:33.10) in 12th place and Allison Wildman (25:05.10) in 13th place.

“Sixth of the 10 girls had personal best performances,” Heber Springs head coach Dale Cresswell said. “Clarksville had a very good team. Times don’t really matter at the state meet, it’s runners’ places on that day.”

Sophomore Nathan Poff finished ninth for the Panthers with a time of 19:11.0. Mason Harris (13th place, 20:12.50), Gabe Tate (15th place, 20:22.60) and Landon Leisenring (19th place, 20:43) were among the top 20.

“Six runners had personal bests at the conference meet,” Cresswell said. “Nathan broke his toe early in the season and recently returned. His times now are faster than last year when he competed as a freshman.”

Cresswell said he was impressed with his younger runners. Seventh grader Sarina Mays (14:45.60) finished fourth for the junior high girls. Eighth-grader Jocelyn Baureis (15:07.40) claimed eighth place and eighth-grader Marisa Kelley (15:08.30) was ninth.

Eighth-grader Wade Harris (12:32.90) led the junior high school boys by finishing third, followed by freshman Noah Cordes (13:04.60), who was seventh. Freshman Logan Cox (13:14.90) finished ninth.

Both teams were runner-up in their respective divisions.

“The junior girls ran well all year,” Cresswell said. “Our No. 1 runner was a seventh-grader and our No. 2 runner was an eighth-grader. The junior high boys also ran well and unfortunately got caught by Pottsville at the end of the race.”

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
Heber Springs results — 5. Sydney Buffalo, 22:53.00; 6. Maygan Jarvis, 23:27.90; 7. Vallie Cantrell, 23:30.20; 11. Riley Bailey, 24:03.50; 12. Samantha Gilley, 24:33.10; 13. Allison Wildman, 25:05.10; 20. Ava Noble, 27:27.30; 21. Ellie Riddle, 27:31.00; 25. Lily Hendrix, 28:49.80.
Team totals — 1. Clarksville 21; 2. Heber Springs 36; 3. Ozark 67.

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
Heber Springs results — 8. Nathan Poff, 19:11.0; 13. Mason Harris, 20:12.50; 15. Gabe Tate, 20:22.60; 19. Landon Leisenring, 20:43.20; 24. Reagan Buell, 20:55.10; 25. Colt Allen, 20:57.80; 32. Noah Cordes, 21:58.60; 34. Morgan Salsman, 22:10.80; 35. Judson Ogle, 22:19.50; 38. Aaron Combs, 23.34.80; 43. Evan Burgess, 24:43.70.
Team totals — 1. Dardanelle, 42; 2. Subiaco Academy, 46; 3. Clarksville, 59; 4. Heber Springs, 73; 5 Pottsville, 83.

JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
Heber Springs results — 4. Sarina Mays, 14:45.60; 8. Jocelyn Baureis, 15:07.40; 9. Marisa Kelley, 15:08.30; 11. Annalyse Wilson, 15:12.40; 14. Joy Bray, 15:27.90; 17. Taylor Westenhover, 16:23.30; 20. Kaitlyn Pierce, 16:23.50; 21. Lynnlee Presley, 16:34.80; 22. Rylee Birmingham, 16:43.70; 24.  Ella Harper, 17:05.90; 36. Allie Rouse, 18:28.00; 37. Eva Jones, 18:29.30.
Team totals — 1. Pottsville, 28; 2. Heber Springs, 46; 3. Clarksville, 83; 4. Dardanelle, 86.

JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
Heber Springs results — 3. Wade Harris, 12:32.90;0;  7. Noah Cordes, 13:04.60; 9. Logan Cox, 13:14.90; 13. J.P. Bonkoski, 13:46.60; 14. Eli Buffalo 13:48.40; 15. Judson Ogle, 13:50.90; 16. Thomas Spears, 13:54.90; 17. Hunter Warren, 13:58.00; 21. Eli Bailey, 14:35.10; 40. Cameron Johnson, 17:21.10.
Team totals — 1 Pottsville, 36; 2. Heber Springs, 42; 3. Subiaco Academy, 77; 4. Clarksville, 78.

Fast start, slow finish for Panthers

The 2020 Heber Springs High School Homecoming Queen Hope Evans with her escorts, her father, Ben Evans; crown attendant Lexi Euton and ball attendant Reid Logan. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

A tale of two halves best described Friday’s 2-4A Conference football game between Bald Knob and Heber Springs at Panther Stadium.

The Panthers (0-4 conference, 1-6 overall) led 7-0 at halftime, but the Bulldogs (2-2 conference, 5-3 overall) dominated the second half for a 35-15 win and spoiled Heber Springs’ homecoming.

Bald Knob scored touchdowns after four Heber Springs turnovers and outgained the Panthers, 238-92 in the second half. The Panthers compiled 61 of their 92 yards during the second half on the final possession, which ended with a touchdown.

Heber Springs had six turnovers for the game — four interceptions and two fumbles, including an onside kickoff. The Bulldogs finished with a 341-203 advantage in total offense.

“Bald Knob beat us on the line of scrimmage,” Heber Springs coach Todd Wood said. “They knew that they could run the ball against us, which opened up their passing game. We couldn’t move the ball in the second half.”

Bald Knob quarterback Leason Pierce completed 13-of-23 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Pierce was only 2-of-6 passing for 24 yards in the first half.

“The defense played well in the first half,” Wood said. “Bald Knob’s size on the line wore us down in the second half.”

Heber Springs held Bald Knob to 1-of-6 third-down conversions in the first half. The Bulldogs turned the tables in the final two quarters by converting 5-of-7 third-down plays.

The Panthers had 3-of-6 third down conversions in the first half and 3-of-5 in the second half. Heber Springs was 2-of-2 during its final scoring drive.
Bald Knob was successful on 2-of-8 fourth down plays, while the Panthers were 0-of-4.

“Our guys were still trying to keep battling,” Wood said. “The big issue were the turnovers and not adjusting to quick changes. We must learn how to fight through that. You can’t win games with that many turnovers.”

Heber Springs quarterback Matthew Cook completed 13-of-27 passes for 91 yards with four interceptions. Nathan McKee caught seven passes for 38 yards. Diego Rubio had 35 yards rushing on eight carries and scored one touchdown.

“We had a good drive on our first possession of the game,” Wood said. “Cook was playing with a lot of confident, but all of the sudden, he gets pressured by Bald Knob’s defense. Matthew looked at things he didn’t need to be looking at. We got to help him correct that. I need to figure out what we need to do to help him do his job better. The first drive was nice, but we didn’t have much success for the rest of the game.”

Heber Springs drove 51 yards on nine plays following the opening kickoff. Cook connected on a 16-yard pass to Easton Cusick, Rubio ran for 10 yards and McKee caught a 13-yard pass for a first-and-goal at the Bald Knob 8-yard line.

Two plays later, Cook scored on a 2-yard carry with 8:51 left in the first quarter. Gus Hannah kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

Bald Knob’s only first-half scoring threat came on its final possession. The Bulldogs drove from their 31 to the Panther 20-yard line. Bald Knob’s Marcus McGahee missed a 37-yard field goal on the final play as Heber Springs led 7-0 at halftime.

Michael Wingo intercepted a Cook pass and set up Bald Knob’s first touchdown during the third quarter. The Bulldogs needed six plays to go 39 yards with Wingo scoring on a 24-yard run. McGahee kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:23 left.

Bald Knob regained possession on a sack of Cook, who fumbled, and the Bulldogs recovered at the Heber Springs 20-yard line. Pierce completed the short drive by passing 13 yards to Wingo for the touchdown. McGahee added the conversion for the 14-7 lead.

The Bulldogs recovered an onside kickoff and later scored their third touchdown of the third quarter. Dane Lindsey caught a 19-yard pass from Pierce, increasing the lead to 20-7 going into the fourth quarter.

“We knew the onside kick was coming and practiced on it during the week,” Wood said. “You have to be aware where you are on the field and what you need to do in that situation. Bald Knob executed, and we didn’t.”

Bald Knob scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Pierce passed 38 yards to Josh Clark for a score with 10:46 to go. Clark had a 6-yard touchdown run with 4:27 left.  

McGahee ran for a 2-point conversion and then kicked an extra point, increasing Bald Knob’s lead to 35-7.

Jackson West capped a 10-play, 59-yard drive for the Panthers scoring on a 3-yard carry with 24 seconds to play. Hannah ran for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs will seek to rebound at Southside Batesville on Friday.

“Southside is another good team that has a big line and likes to runs the ball,” Wood said. “We must find a way to keep our defense from playing most of the time on the field and get the offense going. We took a step backwards against Bald Knob. We need to find out what we did wrong and fix it by Friday.”

The 2020 Heber Springs Homecoming Court. Queen Hope Evans with attendants Lexi Euton and Reid Logan. Senior maids, Sydney Buffalo and Jenna Gillespie. Junior maids, Vallie Cantrell and Hope Gilchrist. Sophomore maids, Jaylea Hooten and Lily Hendrix. Freshman maids, Cherlyn Acosta and Miah Tharp.

GAME STATS

SCORING   
Bald Knob (4-3, 2-2)      0  0  20  15 - 35
Heber Springs (1-6, 0-4)  7  0   0   8 - 15
FIRST QUARTER   
Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 2-yard run (Gus Hannah kick), 8:57
THIRD QUARTER   
Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 3-yard (Marcus McGahee kick), 5:22
Bald Knob, Leason Pierce to Wingo 13-yard pass (McGahee kick), 3:20
Bald Knob, Pierce to Dane Lindsey 19-yard pass (kick failed), 1:06
FOURTH QUARTER 
Bald Knob, Pierce to Josh Clark 38-yard pass (McGahee run), 10:46
Bald Knob, Clark 6-yard run (McGahee kick), 4:27
Heber Springs, Jackson West 3-yard run (Hannah run), 28.4

TEAM STATS   
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 5, Bald Knob 11
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 8, Bald Knob 5
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Bald Knob 1
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 13, Bald Knob 17
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 6/11, Bald Knob 6/13
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 0/4, Bald Knob 1/6
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 2/2, Bald Knob 4/5
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 18:21, Bald Knob 29:39
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 3/2, Bald Knob 0/0
Turnovers: Heber Springs 6, Bald Knob 0     
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Bald Knob 27
Penalties: Heber Springs 4/53, Bald Knob 5/34
Rushing: Heber Springs 24/67/2.8, Bald Knob 43/185/4.3
Passing: Heber Springs 17/31-136-0/4, Bald Knob 13/23-156-3/0
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 41/203/5.0, Bald Knob 66/341/5.2 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 1/8, Bald Knob 2/7
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Bald Knob 0/0
Inside 20: Heber Springs 0, CAC 0

INDIVIDUAL STATS   
OFFENSE     
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 8/35, Jackson West 6/16/1, Matthew Cook 8/11/1, Easton Cusick 2/5. Bald Knob, Bradyn Cline 14/90, Josh Clark 10/62/1, Leason Pierce 8/25, Michael Wingo 6/14/1, Marcus McGahee 4/14, Team 1/(-6).
PASSING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 13/27-91-0/4, John McBroome 4/4-45-0/0. Bald Knob, Leason Pierce 13/23-156-3/0.
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 7/42, Easton Cusick 2/32, Austin Winchester 2/26, Dakota Farmer 2/19, Diego Rubio 2/5, Gus Hannah 1/11, Jackson West 1/1. Bald Knob, Dane Lindsey 5/36/1, Michael Wingo 3/17/1, Matthew Smith 2/32/1, Josh Clark 1/38/1, Gage Dismuke 1/24, Elijah Bradley 1/9.
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 102, John McBroome 45, Diego Rubio 35, Jackson West 16, Easton Cusick 5. Bald Knob, Leason Pierce 181, Bradyn Cline 90, Josh Clark 62, Michael Wingo 14, Marcus McGahee 14, Team (-6). 
PUNT RETURNS: None
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 2/45, Diego Rubio 1/17. Bald Knob, Dane Lindsey 1/7, Hayden McAnelly 1/0.
FUMBLE RETURNS: Bald Knob, Travis Kersey 1/15
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 2/24, Matthew Smith 1/21
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 87, Diego Rubio 57, Easton Cusick 37, Austin Winchester 26, Dakota Farmer 19, Jackson West 17, Matthew Cook 11, Gus Hannah 11. Bald Knob, Josh Clarke 100, Bradyn Cline 90, Michael Wingo 55, Matthew Smith 53, Dane Lindsey 43, Leason Pierce 25, Gage Dismuke 24, Marcus McGahee 14, Elijah Bradley 9.
SCORING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 6, Jackson West 6, Gus Hannah 3 (1/1 XPA). Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 12, Josh Clark 12, Dane Lindsey 6, Marcus McGahee 5 (4/5 XPA, 0/1 FGA. Missed 37).
DEFENSE    
PUNTS/YARDS/AVERAGE/INSIDE THE 20: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook  2/43/21.5 
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Heber Springs, Preston Roberson/Matthew Cook 1/8. Bald Knob, Travis Kersey 2/7
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Bald Knob, Travis Kersey, Marcus McGahee
INTERCEPTIONS: Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 2, Matthew Smith 1, Josh Clark 1