King hire brings high expectations to Magnolia


The Magnolia Panthers upgraded their football program in the offseason with hiring Matt King. The former Foreman Gators head coach led the program to a state championship at the 2A level in 2017. Now, in coming to Magnolia, King brings the expectations to compete atop the conference and make a strong push to playing in Little Rock in November.

King has options at quarterback to run his flexbone offense. Braelyn Beasley brings experience and leadership by example as a senior, while junior Robert Mack has speed and agility. Colby Garland, a sophomore, could see some playing time, but Beasley and Mack figure to be the top field generals. Mack can also play in the defensive backfield along with Beasley.

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Senior fullback DeMarco Walker has the ability to bowl over defenders and also catch passes out of the backfield. Senior running back Amir Cooper is the lightning part of the stormy backfield combo.

At receiver, the Panthers have a big target in Jaikiem Walker, who stands at 6-3, 195 pounds. Walker could be a big red zone target when Magnolia penetrates the 20-yard line. King has another big receiver in Dewayne Thomas and also quickness with Sid Hampton and Kendrell Harris.

Junior Mike Jones figures to be the starting center, and senior Joseph Goza provides position flex at guard and tackle. Martavious Briggs brings tremendous bulk to the offensive line at 6-3, 345 pounds.

On defense, Travasio Pearson stands at the point of attack at nose tackle, Goza and Jones flank him on the defensive line. The Panthers could have a youngster take the next step at linebacker in Malachi Copeland.



Tue., 8/27 — Warren (at SAU) — 7:30 p.m.

Fri., 9/6 — Crossett — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 9/13 — Monticello — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 9/27 — at Arkansas High — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 10/4 — Hot Springs Lakeside — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 10/11 — at Camden Fairview — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 10/18 — Hot Springs — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 10/25 — at Little Rock McClellan — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 11/1 — De Queen — 7:00 p.m.

Fri., 11/8 — at Hope — 7:00 p.m.