BENTON HARMONY GROVE CARDINALS: Cardinals players multi-task
August 26, 2012
With 25 players suiting up for the Benton Harmony Grove Cardinals, it is not unusual for players to play several positions during the season. Coach Jimmy “Red” Parker said that’s just his way.
“I move players around a lot,” he said. “They go where I need them and where they can do the most good for the team. Moving players around is just in my DNA.”
Two weeks before the season’s kickoff, Parker said he was not sure who would start at quarterback for the team’s Wishbone offense. The contest is between junior Zane Anderson (6-1, 160) and sophomore Tyler Hamilton (5-9, 166).
“One is the best player one day, and the other shines the next day,” Parker said. “Both have been inconsistent, and we do a lot of ball handling, so there cannot be many mistakes.”
Also in the backfield will be Nick Johnson (5-11, 160), a junior who will play halfback after being a linebacker most of last year. He joins senior Cameron Byrd (5-8, 175), who is being moved from fullback to halfback. Parker said there will be no fullback for the Cardinals this season.
Parker feels he has good consistent backup with sophomore Colby Byrd (5-9, 155), Cameron’s brother, substituting for Johnson, and junior Evan Williams (5-10, 145).
Returning as a receiver and on the defense is Ben Misenheimer, who Parker said has been doing a good job during fall practice.
“He will be getting the ball more this year,” Parker said.
Harry McClendon, a sophomore, and junior Gunner Griffin will play tight end, Parker said.
Sophomore Cody Roush (6-0, 220) is the leading candidate to play center, Parker said, and another sophomore, Lane Deneen (6-1, 220), will start as guard on the offensive line.
Sophomores Jordan Caple (5-8, 185) and Neil Moore (5-9, 250) seem set as tackles, along with juniors Cole Otts (5-11, 210) and Cody Crain (5-11, 220).
This is the third year of varsity football for the Cardinals, and Parker said his team has only five seniors. While the team is loaded with sophomores who are gaining experience for the future, Parker said he is not sure all those players are showing “what it takes to play football.”
But the coach said he is building a group of players who are working hard in practice.
“There are not enough of them, but the ones we have have done a really good job,” he said.
After a 4-6 2011 season, Parker said all the games this season are big games. The Cardinals will play in the 5-3A Conference.