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The Siloam Springs football team has made it through the most difficult part of its 6A-West Conference schedule.

With perennial state powers Benton (ranked No. 2) and Greenwood (No. 1) out of the way, the Panthers head to Lake Hamilton this week for an important showdown with the Wolves.

Both the Panthers and the Wolves are 1-2 in 6A-West play, and the winner of Friday's game will be in much better shape in terms of grabbing one of the conference's six playoff spots and angling for a postseason position.

This is a big one for Siloam Springs. It's a game the Panthers need to find a way to win.

I'm sure Lake Hamilton feels the same way. The Wolves have defeated Little Rock Hall (42-6) for their only conference win and have losses to El Dorado (28-6) and Russellville (28-14).

It's a long road trip down to the Hot Springs area, but if the Panthers grab a win Friday it'll definitely be a happy ride home.

• • •

A big shout out goes to Siloam Springs senior Kaitlyn Robinson, who is scheduled to play in the Arkansas State Overall Golf Tournament on Thursday at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.

Robinson earned her spot in the overall by winning a three-hole playoff to finish Class 5A State Tournament runner-up at Hot Springs Country Club on Sept. 26.

Robinson is the fifth representative for the Siloam Springs girls golf program in the overall, joining Emery Rakestraw (2011), Shelby Crawley (2013) and Brinkley Beever (2016, 2017).

Playing in this tournament is a huge accomplishment for any high school player. Congrats Kaitlyn and good luck!

• • •

I'm sure our readers of the sports section and fans of Siloam Springs often experience a little Greenwood fatigue, but a really cool milestone occured at Panther Stadium last Friday night.

Greenwood coach Rick Jones won his 300th career game as the Bulldogs defeated the Panthers 42-7.

Coach Jones is one of the best and most classy coaches around, and he's very quick to the turn the attention off himself and give the kids credit when Greenwood wins. When the Bulldogs lose, which isn't very much, he accepts all the blame.

That's what good high school coaches do. It's about the kids, not about them.

That's how Jones was Friday night. He said 300 wins wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the kids he's coached and the assistant coaches that have helped him.

-- Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at gthomas@nwadg.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Sports on 10/10/2018

Print Headline: Toughest part done, Panthers to face Wolves

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