Youth earns experience in spring

Benton Panthers quarterback Peyton Hudgins throws a pass in Benton spring game Tuesday at Panthers Stadium at the Benton Athletic Complex. The Maroon and Gray teams tied 35-35 in the spring game. Full story in Thursday’s edition. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline CourierBenton Panthers receiver Micah Lunsford catches a touchdown pass in Tuesday’s spring game at Panthers Field at the Benton Athletic Complex. The Maroon and Gray teams tied 35-35 in the game and full story will be in Thursday’s edition. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline CourierBenton running back Zak Wallace runs during the Benton spring game Tuesday in Benton. Wallace ran for over 1,400 yards and scored  21 touchdowns as a junior last season for the Panthers.  GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline CourierBenton Panthers player Garrett Body, 4, gets his hands on a ball during Benton’s spring game Tuesday at Panthers Stadium at the Benton Athletic Complex. Colin Yandell, 48, Trevor Standridge, 15, and Sean Thornton, 24, follow the play. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier
By: 
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

The Benton Panthers football team wrapped up their spring with a Maroon vs. Gray spring game Tuesday at Panthers Stadium at the Benton Athletic Complex in Benton. Starting spring practice on May 14, the Maroon and Gray teams played to a 35-35 tie on Tuesday.
Only getting the full team together for just a couple of days since the Benton Panthers baseball team played for a 6A state title in Fayetteville this past Saturday and getting runner-up honors, Benton Coach Brad Harris was pleased with how his team played on Tuesday.
“I felt like we played pretty decent for getting a few days of practice in with everybody,” Harris said. “We split the two teams up into Maroon and White, and didn’t play a 1 offense or anything like that.
“The guys played well. Most of the baseball guys … we had 12 guys that practiced probably two days and got out there. It was good for us. We have 114 kids on the team right now. The biggest thing is trying to get everybody involved in the spring game. You want to give everybody an opportunity to show what they’ve learned over the spring drills.”
As the baseball players were still playing when football practice started, the Panthers were able to get youth some experience.
“The baseball guys were still playing but it was really good for our younger guys, and some guys that are returners missed some practices, which allowed some of our younger guys to get a lot of reps,” Harris said.
Heading into 7-on-7 football in June and into the fall, Harris said the Panthers will have some good depth.
“One big thing that I think is going to help us this year is we have a lot of quality depth,” he said. “Not just depth, but quality depth. I really like our skill positions on offense. I really like what the the guys are doing right now with their attitudes and work ethic. At all our skill positions, we feel pretty comfortable with the 2-deep.
“Offensive line-wise, we have seven or eight guys we feel really comfortable with them getting it done up front. We really like where we’re at depth-wise. For it being May, we have a good base package in. It’s not like they’re having to relearn everything, they’re just having to clean up on stuff.”

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