BENTON: Momentum key for Panthers

Conference: 7A/6A South
Coach: Scott Neathery
’12 Record: 4-8 (2-5)

Things are looking up for Benton. Last fall, the Panthers enjoyed their most productive season since 2006, tallying four wins and advancing to the second round of the Class 7A/6A state playoffs.

In 2013, the team will look to overcome its depth and experience issues and use last year’s momentum as motivation to succeed.

Senior Tarek Beaugard returns at quarterback after throwing for nearly 1,500 yards and 15 scores a year ago. Sophomore newcomer Cason Maertens backs up Beaugard and could develop into a great passer. Senior J.V. Davis should serve as the primary receiver. Beaugard has experience at receiver as well as juniors Sam Baker and Nicholas Quinn. Leading rusher Shaun Carey returns after averaging more than six yards per carry last season.

The senior will receive help in the backfield from seniors Anthony Lowery and Ryan Rodriguez and sophomore Drew Dyer.

With just two returning defensive starters, the Panthers have many holes to fill. Versatile senior Andrew Perez has experience on the defensive line and will be a team leader. Senior William Ashcraft is a bruiser and should be fun to watch at linebacker. Senior Jesse Benton is a defensive specialist and gives opposing offenses fits at free safety.

Sept. 6 Arkadelphia
Sept. 13 at Jacksonville
Sept. 20 at Greenbrier
Sept. 27 vs. Bryant
Oct. 4 at LR Fair
Oct. 11 Sheridan
Oct. 18 at Texarkana
Oct. 25 Lake Hamilton
Nov. 1 at El Dorado
Nov. 7 Pine Bluff