HEBER SPRINGS: Panthers ready to take 2-4A title

Conference: 2-4A
Coach: Darren Gowen
’14 Record: 8-4 (5-2)

The Heber Springs Panthers bounced back in 2014, returning to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

“We improved as the season went on, and by the end of the season we were able to beat the leader in our conference to secure the No. 2 seed,” Coach Darren Gowen said. “The leadership of our seniors helped propel us back into the playoffs.”

Senior quarterback Hunter Chandler returns after throwing for 2,093 yards and 24 touchdowns a year ago. Edgar Torres Diaz and Caleb Lanclos will share the load in the backfield at running back. Junior wide receiver Pierce Mitchum ad 47 catches for 1,104 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall. Justin Feemster and Andrew Engel fill out the receiving corps. Billy Bodron, Dylan Platt, Luke McGowan, Spencer Greene and Cody Sparlin will start on the offensive line.

“Offensively we would like to build on the success we had last year,” Gowen said. “We averaged 39 points a game.”

Nate Dew, Bryce Smith, Joey “Tank” Foster and Same Lee start in the defensive secondary. Diaz, James Ketchum, Steel Spicer and Sterling Castleberry fill out a strong group of linebackers. Greene, McGowan and Dylan Platt make up the defensive line in the Panthers’ 3-4 defense.

“Defensively we want to continue tackling better and be more aggressive,” Gowen said.

5 Players to Watch:
James Ketchum (Sr. LB)
Hunter Chandler (Sr. QB)
Edgar Torres Diaz (Sr. RB)
Pierce Mitchum (Jr. WR/DB)
Luke McGowan (Jr. OL/DL)


1 Must-see Game:
“Clinton is always a fun rivalry game and a great way to start the season.” — 501 staff

2015 Schedule:
Sept. 4        at Clinton
Sept. 11    at Greenbrier
Sept. 18    Harding Academy
Sept. 25    Lonoke
Oct. 2        at Stuttgart
Oct. 9        CAC
Oct. 16        at Newport
Oct. 23        Southside Batesville
Oct. 30        Riverview
Nov. 5        at West Helena