Heber Springs chose one of its own to direct the boys' basketball program. Heber graduate Jay Moore, who served as senior high assistant at Vilonia the past 13 years, was named head coach at last Wednesday's school board meeting.
Heber Springs chose one of its own to direct the boys’ basketball program. Heber graduate Jay Moore, who served as senior high assistant at Vilonia the past 13 years, was named head coach at last Wednesday’s school board meeting.
“I am very excited,” said Moore. “I have accomplished a goal of getting a head coaching job on top of the fact I am from the Heber Springs area and that makes it even more special. I am proud to be a part of it. Athletic program wise all around is very good. I think the basketball program is in good shape. I know we have got a lot of great talent coming up and I am just looking to keep it going. Keep the tradition going.”
Moore says his style depends on personnel, but he likes to run a motion offense similar to former Panther Coach Kevin Kyzer.
“A lot of that will be determined on personnel we have coming back. From talking to Coach Kyzer I think we have very similar philosophies offensively. We will try to push the ball up as quick as we can to get the easiest shot we can and if we don’t get that we will let the kids try to play basketball and run some motion and try to play as much man to man defense as we possibly can.”
Moore, who graduated from Heber in 1993, said he expects his players to set a good example at school.
“The thing about my teams is I want to have high character kids that are very respectful in the classroom. Very respectful when we go to other places and represent Heber Springs the best we can.”
The Panthers won’t hesitate to use a full court press depending on match ups. “If we feel like we match up with a team getting easy baskets is something we would like to do. We would like to press as much as possible but if we don’t match up we won’t. We’d love to be able to create turnovers and get as many easy baskets as we can.”
Moore said the future is bright with a lot of young kids coming up from elementary.
“I know Coach Kyzer has had a lot of success in the conference we are in, which is a very good conference,” said Moore. “It sounds like from talking to him that there are some groups coming up. We will always have very skilled players. Guys that can handle the ball, shoot and know how to play the game. I heard the early grades have got some talent in them. So there shouldn’t be much of a drop off as far as competitiveness.
“Our goal is to win conference every year and go to the state tournament. I feel like with the facilities we have and everything a coach can have given to them to help prepare their team … We should have success for several years to come,” added Moore.
Moore, who graduated college at UCA, served as a junior high coach at Morrilton two years prior his 13-year stint at Vilonia, where he also coached the junior boys and helped with the seventh grade team.