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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Refreshing reward

  • On Wednesday Heber Springs had the chance to dust off the pads and do some hitting for the first time since the playoffs ended last fall. Following the final snap, they were rewarded with a 20-foot tall water slide and 15-foot long slip and slide.

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  • On Wednesday Heber Springs had the chance to dust off the pads and do some hitting for the first time since the playoffs ended last fall. Following the final snap, they were rewarded with a 20-foot tall water slide and 15-foot long slip and slide.
    The defending 2-4A conference champion Panthers wrapped up practice with a scrimmage pitting the first team offense against many of the first team regulars on defense.
    With many playmakers on both sides of the ball, Heber Coach Steve Janski, who has led the Panthers to six straight playoff appearances, says this team could become “two platoon” due to its immense depth.
    “We’ve looked really good. We’ve had great intensity. We’ve got some guys with some big shoes to fill in big spots at quarterback, running back and linebacker and some offensive line positions,” said Janski. “I’m really impressed with how the guys prepared in the off-season. We have the potential to be two platoon because we can play so many guys at different positions. We are going to play a lot more personnel packages this season.”
    Junior Michael Kramer is taking first-team snaps with senior Judson Smith serving as a viable backup. “Michael Kramer is looking great at quarterback and it’s great to have Judson Smith back there at quarterback,” said Janski.
    “Ethan Bly at running back is playing with so much confidence, he had a great scrimmage today, finishing his runs. Defensively we are looking good. We’ve got some new guys…I could talk all day about the guys who are performing well. We have 58 guys, which is awesome. I think everybody is having a good time and the tempo has been great,” added Janski.
    The Panthers’ massive offensive line catches the eye. “We are pretty big,” Janski said. “You’ve got Nate Hills playing strong tackle, and Derrik Fisher, who had to sit out with a knee injury last year. He is back playing at strong guard and we’ve moved Ethan Lee to replace Austin Childers at center. We’ve got Jason Hammons moved to quick guard and he is doing a great job. We are trying to find that quick tackle spot. Cody Youngblood was going to take it but he has a hamstring injury so we are rotating Paul Ballard in there, Alex Diaz, Cody Bernhardt…So, we are trying to find the right mix at that quick tackle spot.”
    In the final scrimmage session of the day, Kramer hooked up with rangy receiver C.J. Cannon for two big gains, including a 40-yard touchdown off a fade route. “I think C.J. will definitely be a primary target because I think a lot of eyes are going to be on Clint Ligon, who is participating in the decathlon so he couldn’t be at practice today. You know what you get with Ligon. He is a very explosive runner and can catch it but if they are trying to bracket No. 23 you’ve got C.J Cannon. He is a guy that can run, he brought his forty time down to 4.6.  He has great height, has a great vertical and had a great day today,” said Janski, who also mentioned Micah Dew as a player that can make an impact at receiver and Zach Rasmussen as a potential target at tight end. Brooks Morgan also showed his shifty open field moves and field vision after catching a bubble screen.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Panthers wrap up spring practice with the Red/White game Wednesday, May 23 at 5 p.m. at Panther Stadium.
     
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