Heber Springs starts season 2-0

Heber Springs’ Cristina Garcia fights for the ball with the Southside Batesville goalie. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

March 5, 2020

Lyon College signee Taylor Hammons finished with a hat trick as Heber Springs improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 6-nil victory over Southside Batesville at Panther Stadium.

Hammons scored all of her goals in the first half, as Heber Springs built up a 6-nil lead at the break and cruised to a mercy-rule win, which included a shortened second-half clock.

“I didn’t even notice it a first,” Heber Springs coach Drew Lawrence said. “I went ‘wow, Taylor’s got three.’ She’s the type that you give her the ball around the net and it will usually find a way.”

Heber Springs senior Jillian Herring looks to go on the offensive against the Southerners. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

The Panthers stayed on the offensive throughout most of the contest with McKenzie Beccera, Jillian Herring and Abbi Dew all adding goals. While Becerra assisted on two goals and Selena Childress on another.

“McKenzie had two assists … and half of those were assisted,” Lawrence said. “It’s really good that we scored six goals but to have at least half of that were assisted, that’s really big. We not only have girls that can go out there and get goals on their own like Jillian and Libby did tonight, but we are also able to use the team and score that way as well.”

Heber Springs opened it’s season with a 4-1 victory over 5A Vilonia on Tuesday.

“That’s really big,” Lawrence said of the win. “I know Vilonia beat us 4-0 last year. They are a bigger school and we are a newer soccer program, so to go on the road, it was nice to really put it on them. We got big contributions from everyone involved. “

Stutts finished with two goals against Vilonia while Hammons and Herring each put one in the back of the net.

Those three seniors are among a core group that are poised for a big season.

Heber Springs senior Abbi Dew gets a kick off against Southside Batesville. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“It really helps that nine out of our 11 starters are seniors,” Lawrence said. “It makes us really excited for this year.”

With 31 players out for the team, Lawrence is also excited about the future of the program.

“Most people would get kind off worried for the next couple of years,” he said, “but I think are first five off our bench are freshmen or sophomores. We are really excited about this year, not only because the strong senior group, but because we arealso going to keep working in those freshmen, keep on working in those sophomores, and keep on building this program.”

Heber Springs also picked up an Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) Benefit Match win on February 24 at Panther Stadium with a 5-3 decision over Harding Academy.

The Panthers led 5-nil at the break and played back-ups the second half.

Benefit matches played before the first official start date by the AAA for soccer of March 2 do not count in the official record.

February 24  Heber Springs 5, Harding Academy 3 $
March 3      Heber Springs 4, Vilonia 1
March 5      Heber Springs 6, Southside Batesville 0
March 9      at Morrilton               7 p.m.
March 10     Conway St. Joseph          7 p.m.
March 13     Greenbrier                 7 p.m.
March 19     at Cave City               7 p.m.
March 31     at Mountain View           7 p.m.
April 2      at Wynne *                 7 p.m.
April 6      Jonesboro Westside *       7 p.m.
April 9      at Brookland *             7 p.m.
April 13     Valley View *              7 p.m.
April 18     Southside Batesville Tournament
April 20     at Southside Batesville *  7 p.m.
April 23     at Lonoke *                7 p.m.
April 28     Batesville *               7 p.m.

(* - Denotes 4A-North conference contest.)
($ - Denotes Arkansas Activities Association Benefit Match. The match does not count on the official record.)

Vanlandingham signs with Lyon college

Heber Springs senior Katelyn Vanlandingham signs her NAIA Letter-of-Intent to play volleyball next season at Lyon College in Batesville.

February 28, 2020


Heber Springs senior Katelyn Vanlandingham quickly made the decision of her distinction to play college volleyball.

Vanlandingham, a four-year starter, signed a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics letter-of-intent with Lyon College Friday (February 28).

She played an important role in leading the Lady Panthers to the 2018 state tournament and within one win of returning in 2019.

“My brother, Tyler, just graduated from Lyon and played football,” said Vanlandingham, when asked about her choice of school. “I received a few other offers, but Lyon was my choice. I love the school.”

Vanlandingham moved from Memphis to Heber Springs before the start of her freshman season. She played volleyball while living in Memphis, and Heber Springs coach Andrea Riggs said that experience showed on the court during the past four years.  

“She was a huge contributor to the program,” Riggs said. “She had more experience in the beginning than other players and it showed. She had good skills and could pass, serve and hit the ball well.”

Heber Springs’ Katelyn Vanlandingham

Vanlandingham said she didn’t know what to expect after leaving Memphis, but it worked well.

“It was a big transition,” she said. “I had a good four years and proud of what I did.”

Vanlandingham said it’s difficult to select one special memory while playing for the Lady Panthers, but she will remember all four seasons.

“Every game was a memory,” she said.

Riggs said Vanlandingham is showing the younger players that hard work can pay off and help in receiving an opportunity to play in college.

“The current high school players and the younger players coming up will benefit from Katelyn’s signing,” Riggs said. “It may help in getting girls playing other sports to consider volleyball. It will help in continuing the program’s success. We want to keep it going in that direction.”

Vanlandingham said one of her goals next season is contribute to her new team’s success.

“I hope to play as a freshman,” she said. “I’m focusing on all areas. There is always room for improvement.”

With Vanlandingham signing with Lyon College, she becomes the sixth Heber Springs athlete to sign with the Batesville school in the past two years.
CHEER AND DANCE - Gentry Hamilton     
VOLLEYBALL - Katelyn Vanlandingham
WOMEN'S SOCCER - Taylor Hammons
BASEBALL - Nick Chaney
FOOTBALL - Blaze Nelson

Hamilton signs with Lyon Cheer

Heber Springs’ Gentry Hamilton is all smiles after signing with Lyon College at a ceremony before the “Black-Out” Pep Rally. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020

Heber Springs senior Gentry Hamilton is following in her big sister’s footsteps after signing with Lyon College’s Cheer and Dance in ceremony in the old gymnasium.

Hamilton’s sister, Lawson, was a cheerleader at the Batesville school and it was no-brainer for her to want to attend the college.

“My sister cheered for Lyon about five years ago, so I already knew the program well,” Hamilton said. “I really like that it is a small school and it’s all intimate. I like that and I feel like I’ll get to know everyone a lot quicker.”

It will help that several of her classmates will be attending Lyon College, including basketball standout Libby Stutts.

Hamilton is also a catcher for the Heber Springs softball team.

“She is probably going to be my roommate,” Hamilton said.

The senior, who is also the starting catcher on the softball team, has been cheering for seven years and received a Trustee’s Scholarship to the private college.

“I am pretty excited about it,” Hamilton said.

The daughter of Lance and Kellie Hamilton, Gentry plans on majoring in biology and going into marine biology after that.

Jennifer Arnold is the cheer coach for the NAIA school in Batesville.

PHOTO GALLERY: https://philip-seaton.pixpa.com/site/heber-springs-gentry-hamilton-signing-with-lyon-college-cheer-and-dance


Hammons signs with Lyon College

February 10, 2020


Heber Springs senior Taylor Hammons signed a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics soccer letter-of-intent with Lyon College at the Panther Den Monday.

Hammons will start for the fourth consecutive year when the Lady Panthers open the season at Harding Academy on Feb. 24.

“I was looking at Harding University two years ago before everything changed,” Hammons said. “I’ve decided not to play in college. I visited Lyon College and it was a positive experience. The visit helped to change my mind. It was a calling for me to go there.”

Hammons scored 17 goals last season and average one goal per game during her career with 11 assists. She earned all-conference honors twice and named to the all-state team in 2018.

“Taylor has meant a lot to our program,” Heber Springs coach Drew Lawrence said. “She is our senior leader and helps in guiding the younger players. Taylor is a hard work. You need that type of a player on a team.”

Hammons began soccer on a third grade team in a youth league. Later, she played at Greenbrier in a fall league before high school.  

Hammons said she looks forward to her senior season and expects the team to have success.

“We will have ups and downs, but I always know my teammates will back everyone up,” she said. “We lost two starters from last year’s team, but we will have a good team. We have a lot of senior starters returning.”

After the season, Hammons plans to switch her focus to Lyon College.

“One of my goals will be to improve my overall soccer skills,” she said. “I need to improve my footwork and working on that.”

Hammons is fourth Panther athlete to sign with the Batesville school in the past two seasons. She joins soccer teammate Libby Stutts (who signed to play basketball at Lyon) earlier this spring and Blaze Nelson (football) and Nicholas Chaney (baseball) who signed last year.

Heber Springs’ Martin signs with Arkansas Tech

February 5, 2020


Quarterback Adam Martin capped his Heber Springs High School football career by signing a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II letter-of-intent with Arkansas Tech at the Panther Den Tuesday.

Martin, who started the final two games of his freshman season and the past three years, led the Panthers to a 21-17 record, four playoff appearances and a share of a conference championship.

Overall, Martin completed 387-of-662 passes for 5,051 yards and 42 touchdowns. He rushed for 2,042 yards and scored 30 touchdowns.

“I’m very excited, like Russellville and excited what the future will hold,” said Martin when asked about selecting Arkansas Tech. “I’m ready to start working on my football career in Russellville. I like the coaches who kept in touch with me throughout the process. They were honest and treated me like family.”

Will Cox, who was interim head coach last season for the Panthers, said Martin was one of the key parts on offense. Martin was responsible for 54 percent of the team’s touchdowns and 64 percent of the team’s total offense.

In 2019, Martin completed 139-of-232 passes for 1,627 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was the team’s second-leading rusher with 864 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Martin also handled the punting duties.

“I only coached Adam during the past two years, but he played well beyond his years,” Cox said. “He took pride in how he played. I’m happy he is getting this opportunity. His stats are incredible and only tells part of the story. Adam always put our offense in good position to be successful.”
Cox said he never doubted Martin would play college football and said his new coach will learn quickly how valuable of a player he is.

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin waits to sign his letter-of-intent with Arkansas Tech University. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“I told every coach once he gets in your program, you would see why,” Cox said. “Adam is the best high school quarterback I ever coached. His best attributes are leadership and he holds himself to a higher standard than others.”

Martin is expected to compete for playing time next season for the Wonder Boys, who tied for eighth place with East Central Oklahoma in the Great American Conference last season during head coach Kyle Shipp’s first season.

“Most likely, I will probably be redshirted, but that decision will not be made until after the August camp,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting to Tech. Coach Shipp takes pride in being a Wonder Boy (player and assistant coach before becoming head coach). The program is going in the right direction.”

Martin was one of three quarterbacks signed.

“I’m excited about all of the kids that we’re signing,” Shipp said. “I feel like it’s a very good class from top to bottom. This class is a building block to where we want to get to in the future. Along with our returning class we feel like this group will have the chance to be special.”

Martin said he is ready for the challenge and compared it to when he was summoned to the varsity during his freshman year for the Panthers.

“I already was playing junior high basketball and coach (Darren) Gowen came and told me I was going to be playing more football,” Martin said. “I learned a lot in those games. I have so many memories, but two of the highlights were winning at Southside Batesville during my junior year and defeating Riverview at senior night last season.”

Martin said it was special to play on the same field as his father, Danny.

Adam Martin poses with father, Danny, in front of the Heber Springs High School class of 1981 class portrait. Danny was a 1981 graduate of Heber Springs. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“I built a lot of relationships in the locker room and the community,” he said. “It also was special playing where my dad and uncles did.”

Martin continues to play for the Heber Springs basketball team and will compete for the baseball squad before heading to Russellville.

“Learning a new playbook will be the first challenge,” he said. “I need to become more physically because Division II football is a different game than high school. I want to get it up to their standards.”

Martin will join former teammate, Julian Cameron, at Tech. Cameron signed with the Wonder Boys last spring and redshirted this past season.

Martin is also the fifth Panther football player in the past three seasons to sign to play college football joining Cameron (Arkansas Tech), Blaze Nelson (Lyon College), J.J. Bray (Southwest Baptist, Mo.) last year and Jacob Bremmon (Hendrix) in 2018.

RELATED ARTICLE: Arkansas Tech announces 2020 signing class

Adam Martin with his family.




Heber Springs’ Libby Stutts signs with Lyon College

Heber Springs senior guard Libby Stutts shows off her signed NAIA Letter-of-Intent with Lyon College on Tuesday at the Panther Den. With Stutts are her parents, Jared Stutts and Brandy Famer. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

October 22, 2019

Heber Springs senior guard Libby Stutts signed with Lyon College on Tuesday at a ceremony at the Panther Den.

Stutts signed with the NAIA school in Batesville surrounded by her family, friends, coaches and teammates. Stutts was the leading scorer for coach Jamey Riddle’s Lady Panther squad.

Stutts is the third Heber Springs athlete in the past two years to sign with Lyon College joining Nick Chaney (baseball) and Blaze Nelson (football), who are both freshmen this season.

She will be joining a Scots program that is coming off a 25-8 record in 2018-19 that saw coach Tracy Stewart-Lange’s squad reach the second-round of National Tournament, Lyon’s eighth consecutive appearance.

She will be the first Panther to play for the Lyon College’s women’s team since Sarah Adcock, who played at the Batesville school from 2000-2004. Adcock was a two-time all-conference performer for the Scots and is the seventh-leading all-time scorer at the American Midwest Conference school.

Stutts, who also plays soccer for the Panthers, and her Heber Springs teammates will open their season on Nov. 12 at home against Nemo Vista.




Bremmon named Conference Player of the Week

September 9, 2019

CONWAY – After incredible performance Saturday in the Warriors’ season opener versus Lyon College, sophomore defensive back Jacob Bremmon has been honored as the Southern Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week, announced by the conference office Monday afternoon.

Bremmon, a graduate of Heber Springs High School, picked off the Scots’ quarterback Isaiah Bradford in the second period Saturday and returned it 39 yards to the house. In addition to the defensive touchdown, Bremmon registered a second-best eight tackles in Hendrix’s 28-20 victory over the in-state rival Scots.

Jacob Bremmon

Bremmon played in 10 games last season as a true freshman, starting nine of them at safety. He recorded 26 solo tackles and 12 assisted tackles for a total of 38 tackles. He also had two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Bremmon wasn’t the only former Panther on the field on Saturday. Former Heber Springs Panther Blaze Nelson, who is playing linebacker for the Scots (1-1), played but did not record any stats during the contest.

Blaze Nelson

Sitting at 1-0 on the year, Bremmon and the rest of the Warriors will head west to Seguin, Texas, to battle Texas Lutheran at 6 p.m. Saturday. Nelson and the rest of the Lyon College Scots have the weekend off before traveling to Tyler, Texas, on September 21 for an 11 a.m. contest with Texas College.

Information provided by Hendrix College Sports Information and Lyon College Sports Information

John Brown handles Lyon

August 23, 2019


SILOAM SPRINGS – Sophomore Goncalo Verissimo tallied a hat trick and freshman Jacob Zamarron followed up an impressive collegiate debut with a five-point performance as the John Brown University men’s soccer squad plastered seven goals in its Alumni Field debut in a 7-1 win over Lyon College on Friday (Aug. 23) evening.

Freshman Oscar Carballo opened the scoring in the 12th minute while sophomore Adrian Immel tallied a goal with just 40 seconds left in the contest as the duo each enjoyed securing their respective first collegiate goals. In between the bookending strikes was Verissimo’s second-half hat trick that powered the Golden Eagles (2-0-0) to five goals in the final 12 minutes of play.

Carballo’s strike early to the far right side of the goal was followed up by Zamarron’s singular effort that saw the freshman lose a Scot (0-2-0) defender in dramatic fashion deep in the left corner. With the defender horizontal on the pitch, Zamarron took a few strides towards goal and unloaded a shot to the far right side over Lyon keeper Gianni Santin to double the hosts’ advantage.

The 2-0 difference held until the break, but the Scots pulled within one in the 61st minute when an errant defensive play allowed Nate Ayalew to break in on senior Britt Wisener undefended off a pass from Vitor Fujiwara. Ayalew’s strike, his first of the year, halved the hosts’ lead with just under 30 minutes left to play.

Although the Golden Eagles carried possession for the majority of the match, it wasn’t until Verissimo’s first goal in the 79th minute did the floodgates open. Senior Amilcar Gonzalez’s service off a set piece from the left side found the head of Verissimo charging the box to hand the sophomore his first of the season. Just over a minute later, he doubled his output by finishing off a passing play that started from sophomore Micah Herrmann in the midfield. His pass found Zamarron up top who took possession into the box before dumping it over to Verissimo for the finish.

Gonzalez added a goal of his own less than a minute later. Then, less than another minute later, Verissimo finished off the three-goal outing in a mere 3:10 span with the strike of the night.

Zamarron again fed Verissimo in the middle, but Verissimo this time pocketed the strike into the upper right 90 of the goal to push the JBU lead to 6-1.

The goal bonanza didn’t stop there, however, as Immel intercepted an errant Santin clearance in the midfield before chipping the keeper from nearly midfield with just 40 seconds left in the match.

Wisener made one save before making way for freshman Logan Campbell who made his collegiate debut. Logan finished the final 6:21 of the match.

In the physical matchup, John Brown finished the evening out-shooting the guests by a 20-8 margin, while the visitors racked up 21 fouls and five cautions.

JBU returns to action on Friday (Aug. 30) evening at Alumni Field. The Golden Eagles will welcome Bethel (Kan.) to Siloam Springs as part of the annual First Friday Fútbol festivities.

Lyon takes second in Home Meet

August 30, 2019


BATESVILLE – The Lyon College men’s and women’s cross country teams got their respective 2019 seasons off to a strong start as the Scots placed in the top two individually in both the men’s and women’s divisions at the 2019 Lyon College Invitational on Friday evening. Freshmen Cade Davis and Haeley Pines took home first-place honors for the men’s and women’s team, respectively.

In her first collegiate race, Pines cruised to the finish line of the women’s 5k race with the best time at 23:07. Teammate, Alex Nagle, finished just behind Pines in second at 23:27. Daisy Connor and Amber McClurg both finished within the top 10 as well. Connor placed sixth with a time of 26:54, while McClurg ended in eighth at 27:58.

In the men’s 5k division, Davis and Chris Lemp finished in first and second for the Scots, respectively, in the first collegiate race for both runners. Davis coasted his way around the course and finished with a time of 17:57, while Lemp posted a time of 18:17. Addison Causey placed eighth with a time of 20:21. Wyatt Frerichs crossed the finish line in 11th for the Scots with a time of 22:08. Patrick Mitchell (24:13), Payton Dunn (26:00) and Zachary Nohr (29:04) also competed for the Scots.

As a whole, the men’s team placed second in the event. Williams Baptist edged the Scots by a single point, while Crowley’s Ridge College came in third.

The Scots will return to action on Sept. 7 at the UCA Cross Country Challenge in Conway.

Lyon takes Pair in Little Rock

August 30, 2019


LITTLE ROCK – The Lyon College volleyball team cruised to a pair of nonconference victories today in the Philander Smith Panther Volleyball Tournament. The Scots started the afternoon by sweeping Tabor College and kept up their terrific play with a dominating performance over Texas College this evening.

Lyon improves to 2-3 on the young season. Tabor College falls to 2-5, while Texas College’s record dips to 1-1.   

Tabor College 
The Scots and Bluejays exchanged leads in the first set of the match. Tabor extended their lead at 18-15, but Lyon would quickly respond. The Scots regained the momentum, surging to a 10-4 run to win the first set on one of Kendra Kelly’s 10 kills in the contest.

Now leading by a set, the Scots picked up right where they left off, winning the first six points of the second stanza. Lyon continued their excellent setting and finishing at the net to take a 22-12 advantage following a kill by Michayla ShanksKaitlyn Jackson would eventually close out the set with a service ace to give the Scots a two-set advantage.

The third set featured five ties and two lead changes. With the score tied at 10 apiece, the visitors from Batesville got in a rhythm as they won nine of the next 11 points, taking a 19-12 lead. The Bluejays, however, cut Lyon’s lead to one at 24-23. The Scots took a timeout to regain their composure in hopes of ending the match on the next point. That is exactly what the Scots did, winning the next point to complete the sweep and close out the match, 25-23.

Texas College
With the Scots leading 11-9 midway through the first set, Gracen Ratliff recorded one of her six kills in the contest to give the visitors from Batesville a three-point cushion. Lyon would continue to extend their advantage the rest of the first stanza, en route to a 25-18 first-set victory.

The second set was the most competitive frame of the night. While Texas College cut Lyon’s lead to only two at 12-10, the Scots were ready for everything the Lady Steers tried to throw at them. Lyon dominated the rest of the set, cruising to a 25-13 second-set win.

Lyon continued their stellar play in the third stanza. TC tied the score four times during the set, but the Scots never relinquished the lead as they overpowered the Lady Steers, 25-12, and won the match in three sets.

Tabor College 
– Kendra Kelley and Michayla Shanks put together all-around performances today as Kelley tallied 10 kills and 8 digs, while Shanks registered 12 digs, 8 kills, and 4 service aces.
– Gracen Ratliff recorded a game-high 11 kills. 
– Kaitlyn Jackson etched 20 assists to go along with 3 service aces.   
– Lyon overpowered Tabor in kills, 41-28, and service aces, 13-3.

Texas College 
– Alley Edwards tallied a game-high 12 kills in the contest, while Kendra KelleyGracen Ratliff, and Michayla Shanks added 7, 6, and 6 kills, respectively.
– The Scots setters were terrific today as Kaitlyn JacksonEllie EmbryKendra Davidson, and Elizabeth Bairett combined for 41 assists this evening.
– Lyon held a huge advantage in kills, 51-16, and assists, 46-16.

Lyon continues play in the Panther Volleyball Tournament tomorrow with matches against Rust College and Philander Smith College. The matchup between the Scots and Rust College will begin at noon tomorrow, while the contest between Lyon and Philander Smith College will start 45 minutes following the conclusion of the Lyon-Rust match.