BENTON, Ark. — The Benton Panthers will experience changes this year
First, they'll play in a new conference, the 6A East.
The Panthers won the West last year and are ready for new competition.
"I'm really excited about 2022 moving to the new conference feel like we got a chance to compete really tough team in El dorado and Marion we've got to get ready early in the season"
With the departure of starting QB Stran smith, the Panthers have a five way battle for the starting QB spot.
There's Jack Woolbright who played on defense last year and Gary Rideout who transferred in from Little Rock Central. Meanwhile, Hudson Chandler, Maddox Davis, and Cline Hooten all moved up from the JV team and will all also fight for playing time.
Walker Davis will look to be one of the leaders on the offensive line.
The left tackle has offers from FBS programs like Arkansas State and Liberty
The panthers will have some help on the ground with razorback commit Braylen Russell transferred from Lakeside.
"It's one of my biggest years as a senior, bringing the guys together is a huge role and I'm ready to embrace the role, " Davis said.
"My team has embraced me. We've got some really good dudes up front, I've gotten faster and have worked on footwork all summer," Russell said.
UCA baseball commit Jake Jones will look to have another good season as inside linebacker. The team's top tackler had 67 stops and 14 quarterback hurries last year.
The Panthers open the season on Saturday against Bryant in the Salt Bowl.