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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Panthers spring into Farr era

  • A new era is officially underway in Heber Springs. The Panthers took the field with a new head coach for the first time in 10 years on Tuesday afternoon when Coach David Farr led the team out of the field house at Panther Stadium.
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  • A new era is officially underway in Heber Springs. The Panthers took the field with a new head coach for the first time in 10 years on Tuesday afternoon when Coach David Farr led the team out of the field house at Panther Stadium.
    Farr, who served as defensive coordinator under former head coach Steve Janski, said the team has several objectives entering spring practice following a 2-8 season, which is the worst season the Panthers have endured since winning four games in Janski’s first season (2005).
    Replacing starting quarterback Michael Kramer is a top priority. Junior Hunter Chandler, sophomore Pierce Mitchum and senior Austin McVay have a chance of getting snaps behind center.
    “Objective No. 1 is to identify a quarterback and not just one,” said Farr. “We want to identify at least two or three that can do it. We need to know really well coming out of spring who is going to be our quarterback or quarterbacks, which may be the situation as well. There are a couple guys we are looking at quarterback right now that I think will end up helping us at other positions. Through the spring we need to find that guy who can be quarterback and also teach them that system.”
    Shoring up the offensive line, which lost Nate Hills and Jason Hammons, is another key this spring.
    “We are replacing two three-year starters on the offensive line with Jason Hammons and Nate Hills. It’s going to be a big deal replacing those two so we are going to have to find people to fill those voids on the offensive line.”
    The Panther defense is experienced, but lost leading tackler Ian Lowe at middle linebacker and  top cover corner Cooper Lawrence.
    “We played a lot of sophomores last year on defense but with that in mind we’ve still got to find a corner to replace Cooper Lawrence and Ian Lowe at Mike linebacker. We’ve got to fill that position.”
    Heber has a huge sophomore class that is adjusting on the fly to the speed of varsity practice. “They are a little disoriented trying to figure out where to go and what they are being told, understanding the drill and the flow of practice. I was very pleased with the way they competed when they were in there and had the opportunity to go. They stepped up and there was some good competition.”
    Farr said the entire senior class has assumed leadership roles. “It’s hard to identify just one. Our senior class from December has done a great job from top to bottom of leading. There is a good mix of leadership. There are guys who are very vocal and also guys like Chandler Marquardt that are going to do it right every day and lead by example.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The Panthers don full pads for the first time on Friday and the spring game is set for May 30.

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