When it comes to good hometown rivalries in high school football, one needs not look any further than Saline County. With Benton and Bryant standing alone at the top of the list, there are other rivalries right here in the county that catch the eye of residents and football fans in general. Aside from the Benton/Bryant battle that has been around since 1974, there is also a very heated and exciting war between the Glen Rose Beavers and Bauxite Miners.
The Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team competed in the Lady Cyclone Tournament in Russellville over the weekend and though they fell just short of a first-place finish, the Lady Hornets still had a successful tournament.
â€śWe came home with a second-place finish,â€ť Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said. â€śI'm proud of that. I told the girls that we got out of this tournament what we needed. Â I'm sad that we didn't win that last game, but the girls fought hard that game. Â We needed this. Â We needed to see this higher-level play that is more like what our postseason play will look like.â€ť
It took three more weeks than Saline County has been used to the past several years, but Salt Bowl week is officially here. The Benton Panthers and Bryant Hornets kicked off the week with a Salt Bowl press conference at War Memorial Stadium late Monday afternoon in preparation for Fridayâ€™s Salt Bowl at WMS in Little Rock.
â€śThis one is a little bit different in that itâ€™s not the first game of the year,â€ť Salt Bowl organizer Shane Broadway said. â€śItâ€™s Week 4, but this one counts. This is a conference clash and there is a lot more riding on the line than just county pride.â€ť
Lady Panthers on a roll
The Benton Lady Panthers won their seventh consecutive match and improved to 4-0 in conference with a 3-0 sweep of the Texarkana Lady Razorbacks in Texarkana on Thursday. Benton took the match 25-21, 25-17 and 26-24.
â€śI thought we played well,â€ť Benton Coach Brandy Chumley said. â€śOverall we stayed up. We try not to give them too many points in a row and thatâ€™s our game. We had the lead and we would let them back in.â€ť
The Benton Junior Panthers swept the Bryant Junior Hornets with the ninth graders coming out on top 2-0 (25-18, 25-18) and the eighth graders taking the match 2-0 as well at 25-9 and 25-11. The eighth graders also beat Bethel 25-23 in their second match after being down 8-0 and then beat the Lady Hornets 25-15 in the second set at Bryant Middle School on Thursday.
LITTLE ROCK â€“ Bryant quarterback Hayden Lessenberry orchestrated a 13-play, 85-yard touchdown drive with 1:40 to go in the fourth quarter that sealed a 19-18 comeback victory over Little Rock Catholic on Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
Â For Lessenberry, it was better late than never.
Â In three consecutive offensive possessions in the second half, Lessenberry threw two interceptions and fumbled once, leading to an 18-12 advantage for the Rockets.
On a rain-soaked Friday night at C.W. Lewis Stadium, 66 young men suited up in the maroon and gray of Benton. Sixty-six young men represented themselves, their high school, their families, and the entire Benton community with class. Sixty-six young men gave their heart and soul in an effort to secure a win for the Panthers. Though the Panthers came up a bit short on the scoreboard, the entire community of Benton has reason to be proud of the Panthers and their effort.
How do you make lemonade out of lemons? That may seem impossible after the loss to Louisiana Monroe,Â but I am going to give it a try.
Losing to Alabama every year since 2007 has been no fun and after the meltdown on Markham last week, not many are giving my Hogs much of a chance this year either.
In what has been an unconventional start to the season, the Bauxite Miners have played two games so far in the 2012 season, but only have four quarters of action under their belt. Their season opener was spoiled by Hurricane Isaac after one quarter and was only able to squeeze in three quarters last week against Glen Rose.
Nevertheless, it hasnâ€™t been a pretty start for head coach Shane Clancy and his Miners. While the Miners havenâ€™t had a full body of work to go off of, the four quarters they have played are very indicative of the poor start.
The Benton Lady Panthers outscored the Little Rock Fair Lady War Eagles 75-11 in three matches to win their sixth straight match after starting the season 0-2. Benton won 3-0 (25-3, 25-1, 25-7) in its most lopsided match of the season and improved to 3-0 in the 7A/6A South. The Lady Panthersâ€™ junior varsity also had little trouble defeating Fairâ€™s JV, winning 2-0 (25-5, 25-10).
â€śFair is just not where they need to be,â€ť Benton Coach Brandy Chumley said. â€śWeâ€™re working on clicking on offense a little bit and those were good games to work on that. I thought we did pretty well.â€ť