Benton Harmony Grove: Cardinals still learning in year two

Benton Harmony Grove enjoyed its first official season under AAA rule in 2010 behind seasoned coach Jimmy Parker. In a season of ups and downs, the Cardinals (2-8) learned many things about football.

“We had a lot of kids who had never played football before,” assistant coach Benji White said. “While other teams were going out and practicing, our kids were learning how to put their pads in their pants.”

The Cardinals’ defining moment in a season full of firsts was winning their first game in school history.

“We beat Poyen [35-14] in week 1,” White said. “It was the first game ever played for both teams, and it was a historical moment for us.”

The team lost just five seniors to graduation and looks to gain more experience in 2011. “We consider ourselves very simple,” White said. “The group we have now is becoming more familiar with the program, and with one season under their belts, they know what we’re expecting. We’re small and inexperienced, but our work ethic is very strong.”

Senior Matt Hulsey (6-2, 160) and junior Christian Taylor (6-0, 195) will compete for the quarterback job this season. Senior Austin Traylor (5-10, 165) returns as the team’s leading rusher and will receive support from senior Jarred Robinson (5-8, 160), who also works at strong safety.