HSHS All-Decade Team: 1980s

The 1980s era of Heber Springs football was one of consistency at the top with Dennis DeBusk coaching the team through eight seasons of the decade.

The 1980 Panther team finished the season with an 8-2 mark and in a three-way tie for the 1AA-East crown, but missed out on a playoff spot. After opening the season with a 10-7 setback to Joe T. Robinson, Heber Springs would win eight straight setting up a week 10 showdown with Greenbrier for a chance to win back-to-back outright conference crowns. But the Faulkner County Panther squad would come out on top 24-6 to steal the playoff bid from the Panthers.

In 1981, Heber Springs would finished 7-3 and the set-up would be the same as 1980, except with nonconference losses to Beebe and Batesville, with a week 10 showdown with Greenbrier for the 1AA-East crown. Both teams entered the game at 5-0 in the conference, but Greenbrier would claim a 27-0 win, the conference title and the conference’s spot in the playoffs.

The 1982 squad would start the season 0-2 with losses at Beebe and to Harding Academy, but rebounded to win at Bald Knob and at home against Batesville. The Panthers would start conference play with a victories over Clinton and Yellville-Summit, before stumbling at Mountain View on Oct. 15, 20-14. Heber Springs would rebound with wins over Marshall and Vilonia before falling to Greenbrier, 10-6, in week 10. Though the Panthers finished in second place in the conference, Mountain View was the lone representative for the conference in the playoffs.

In 1983, Bald Knob re-joined the newly-named 5AA-North conference and the Panthers would start the season 2-1 in nonconference play. Heber Springs would not leave any doubt about a playoff spot by starting 6-0 and having clinched postseason play by week 10. A week 10 loss to Vilonia meant the Panthers had to share a conference crown with the Eagles. Heber Springs opened the season with a win over Beebe but the Badgers got revenge in the playoffs by knocking off the Panthers, 17-6.

The 1984 Panther team would finish 4-6 and 3-4 in conference play. Heber Springs still had a chance to earn one of the two playoff spots for the conference but those hopes were dashed with losses in weeks 9 and 10 ended those.

The 1985 and 1986 teams each finished at 2-8 with the 1985 squad downing Marshall and Vilonia, and the 1986 team defeating Marshall and Greenbrier.

In 1987, Heber Springs would go 2-3 in nonconference play with wins over Dover and Atkins. The Panthers would open up conference play with a thrilling 19-12 overtime win against Clinton, but would drop their final four contests to finish at 3-7.

Mountain View High School graduate John Richardson would take over as coach for the 1988 season after coming over from Huntsville. Heber Springs would start with nine straight losses before closing the season with a win over Mountain View.

In 1989, Heber Springs would again finished with a 1-9 mark, starting the season with three nonconference losses before downing Yellville-Summit in the conference opener.

The 1980s HSHS All-Decade Football Team

(Position, Player and Last Season Played)


WR – Lance Perry (1980)

WR – Mark Rezanka (1983)

OL – Jim Bly (1981)

OL – Edward Gleich (1984)

OL – Wayne Hazelwood (1983)

OL – John Hoover (1980)

OL – Aaron Little (1980)

QB – Pat Dudeck (1988)

RB – Bill Mark (1982)

RB – Danny Martin (1980)

RB – Danny Stevenson (1988)

AP – Mark Hoffman (1980)

AP – Reggie Sumpter (1987)

AP – Jonathan Wallace (1984)

AP – Shannon Yates (1987)


DL – Jeff Garlinghouse (1988)

DL – Brock Loftis (1981)

DL – Peyton Upton (1982)

LB – Dale Cresswell (1984)

LB – Mike Shamburger (1989)

LB – Robert Sparks (1980)

LB/K – Mike Verser (1984)

LB – Paul Reed (1981)

DB – Andy Beam (1981)

DB –Steve Logan (1983)

DB – Bill Wallace (1986)

P – Travis Moss (1984)

AP – Birch Grisso (1983)

AP –Sid Shelton (1982)

AP – Paige Upton (1982)


The 1970s HSHS All-Decade Team

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

Like Father, Like Daughter

Mooneyhan sets 4A state pole vault mark

April 30, 2019

By Philip Seaton

BATESVILLE – There has to be something about Pioneer Stadium at Batesville High School for the Mooneyhan family.

In 1987, then Heber Springs junior Walter Mooneyhan set a then personal best when he cleared 15-6 in the pole vault at the Pioneer Relays. Mooneyhan would go on to break the AA and state overall pole vault record a few weeks later at the AA state meet at Beebe when he cleared 15-4 and half inches. He bettered Heber Springs’ Mark Rezanka’s AA state record of 14-9 set in 1983 and Fort Smith Northside’s Greg Pickett’s overall mark of 15-4 set in 1975.

Flash forward to Tuesday at the 4A state track meet at Pioneer Stadium, Walter’s daughter, Pea Ridge junior Cassidy Mooneyhan, cleared 12-7 which is a new personal best but more importantly also set the new standard in 4A shattering the old mark of 11-6 set by Mena’s Staci Yahn in 2006.

She missed out on clearing 13-feet on three attempts.

“I have wanted to jump 13-feet since seventh-grade,” Cassidy said and though she didn’t get that height on Tuesday she was still elated to get the state record. “It think it’s so awesome.

“It’s something I’ve worked so long for and especially to get it my junior year instead of senior year really surprised me … that means a lot to me.”

The record also meant a lot to her vaulting coach, her father.

“I’ve been inside the ropes with her since she started in the seventh grade,” Walter said. “I have got to watch her progress all the way through. She’s incredibly coachable, incredibly aggressive, and incredibly competitive. On top of that she is a nice person. So that combination makes me incredibly proud.”

Walter, who works at the home office of Wal-Mart in Bentonville, has been a volunteer coach for the Pea Ridge track program since his daughter took an interest in the sport.

“I went through the registered volunteer program through the AAA (Arkansas Activities Association),” Walter said. “You have to specify a sport you are going to help with, and obviously I choose the vault, so I’ve gotten to be inside the ropes.”

Pea Ridge built a new track five years ago.

“The coaches didn’t have any experience in the vault, because they never had the vault,” Walter said. “Somehow everything just came together. (Pea Ridge) coach Heather Wade is the senior high girls track coach and she has been gracious enough to let me inside the ropes.”

While Walter’s vaulting exploits are legendary in the track and field circles, Cassidy was unaware of her father’s accomplishments.

“I didn’t even know he was a good vaulter,” Cassidy said. “He’s the most humble person ever. He rarely talked it, so I didn’t even know he was a good vaulter. All through the years, he slowly started talking about it more. I realized after the first year (that I was vaulting that) he was very good.”

If Cassidy didn’t know of her father’s exploits, how did she get started in the sport?

“A girl I knew in the was doing it when I was in seventh grade, so I tried it,” Cassidy said. “So I came home, told him I wanted to try it and he just came and helped us out.”

Cassidy’s also finished second in the 100 and 200, behind teammate Blakelee Winn in both races, to help her team accomplish something her father’s never did, win a state title.

“It means so much,” Cassidy said. “I think it’s so cool to follow in his footsteps and to have him here with me.”