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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Heber, Rose Bud tangle at team camp

  • Lake area teams Heber Springs and Rose Bud met at Panther Stadium along with Cedar Ridge on Friday for team camp. Wearing shorts with helmets and shoulder pads, the teams rotated their offensive and defensive units out while marching up and down the field.
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  • Lake area teams Heber Springs and Rose Bud met at Panther Stadium along with Cedar Ridge on Friday for team camp. Wearing shorts with helmets and shoulder pads, the teams rotated their offensive and defensive units out while marching up and down the field.
    The camp is a good tool for the teams in preparation for the grind of preseason camp, which begins August 4.
    They didn’t tackle to the ground, making it difficult to gauge how each play would actually turn out in a real game. Heber Coach David Farr said pursuit to the football is one aspect that is key at team camp.
    “The main thing we wanted to see out of the defense is pursuit to the football. We told them we want to see effort. I am not so much on assignments right now. That is stuff we can get fixed. Pursuit to the football is something intangible to a great defense,” added Farr.
    The Panthers’ offense clicked at times behind a stout offensive line, but bogged down in some situations. Farr was pleased overall.
    “Individual effort is really what makes an offense go,” said Farr. “I felt like we got that and there were some guys that stepped up and really surprised us and made us start reevaluating where we’ve got people. That’s why I love doing team camp, giving us a chance to evaluate the guys against another opponent. We will take this film and start breaking down every last second of it and get the best 11 on the field Friday night.”
    Offensively for the Panthers all-conference senior running back Chandler Marquardt showed his dynamic burst of speed and power, while receivers Austin Espinosa, David Kuebler and Austin McVay each caught at least one touchdown pass. McVay’s touchdown catch from quarterback Hunter Chandler came on Heber’s final snap of the day.
    “I am really proud of Austin Espinosa,” said Farr. “He had a lot of great catches and showed great focus catching the football. And defensively some of the plays he made were textbook. Squeezing it down and closing down the gap, getting his head across and making the tackle.”
    David Kuebler, who didn’t play football last year while focusing on basketball, used his length at receiver to help the Panther offense move the chains. “I was really surprised with David Kuebler,” said Farr. “He made some incredible catches in the end zone, going up for the football and coming down with some tough catches. And there are others, but those are the two who really stick out in my mind.”
    Page 2 of 2 - After visiting Greenbrier for the second consecutive Tuesday to compete in 7-on-7, the Panthers head to Searcy High School on Thursday for a team camp, which pits Heber against Wynne, Jonesboro High School and the host Lions.
    Rose Bud Ramblers
    Missing starting quarterback Jake Cantey and bruising linebacker/running back Payton Jones, who also can play quarterback, the Ramblers moved school-record breaking fullback Caleb Ferren to quarterback for Friday’s team camp.
    Coach Kevin Coleman said his team took a step forward in their first team camp of the summer. “We took a step, first of many today. We didn’t have everybody here but I think we found a few light bulbs on some guys that were playing out of position. I was pleased with the effort but we are not conditioning wise where we need to be.
    “We have 22 or 23 guys on the team and we told them day one no excuses. We have a lot of guys that will play both ways and in the kicking game. We just need to learn how to run Play A and get to a point where we can run play B. I think we took a step in the right direction,” concluded Coleman, who is installing the Dead-T offense in his first season with the program.
    The Ramblers had some turnovers early before settling into a groove later in the morning. “We put the ball on the ground and that’s why we were doing up-downs after we finished. Our two quarterbacks are at some [individual] camps this week so I was kinda pleased we got the quarterback center exchange as well as we did because we only had about a day and a half to work on that, shifting some running backs around.
    “I knew ahead of time those guys weren’t going to be here so it gave us a chance to look at some guys at another position. It’s a long season, kids get injured and you have to move guys around. It was a good experience, especially for our young guys. We had one senior back there and it was all of the young pups getting most of the reps. So I was proud of the way they fought,” added Coleman.
    The Ramblers visited Perryville for another team camp on Tuesday. “We will be back in Heber for another team camp and the last week in July we will be in Atkins for a team camp over there,” said Coleman.

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