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OPINION: Cool temps greet SSHS football on first day

by Graham Thomas | June 9, 2021 at 5:20 a.m.

It was a beautiful morning Monday as I hit the turf at Panther Stadium to take in a little Panther Pride workouts.

The sky was overcast, the temperature on the cool side -- just perfect late spring weather.

Of course, the summer is coming and the Siloam Springs Panthers know this.

Hot, sun-shining days are ahead for sure, but on Monday anyway, the Panthers were making the most of the delightful setting.

Hey, if we can get weather like this on June 19, no one will be complaining!

That's the day of the Stateline Shootout, a 7 on 7 tournament hosted by Siloam Springs' football program, which will be held all day at Panther Stadium.

A total of 16 teams, including the Panthers, will be playing in this event, which the football program hopes to make an annual event.

A day like this does a couple of things. One, it makes your football team better. It's one thing to have 7 on 7 passing leagues on Tuesday nights all summer, but it's another to do it in a tournament like setting. The competition for a tournament championship raises the stakes and should make all who participate better. Two, it will raise money for the football program. Teams pay an entry fee and those go right to helping the football team for its upcoming season.

We'll have more on the Stateline Shootout in next week's Herald-Leader.

• • •

The Siloam Springs athletics department honored two people that I'd like to recognize in this space and also show my appreciation to.

Retiring athletics director Ken Harriman was honored with a reception Friday for his service in his second stint as AD in the Siloam Springs School District.

Then the Harriman reception moved to Big Whiskey's for lunch, where a surprise event was held for athletics secretary Julie Kelly, who is leaving the district for a position in Fayetteville.

We have included photos of both in this week's paper.

I'll have much more to say on Coach Harriman in our upcoming Siloam Proud section, which is scheduled to publish June 23.

Julie will be missed tremendously by all who have any association with the athletic department. She has been the go-to person for just about everything and has been so reliable. I know if there's something I've needed athletic-wise, the first person I've gone to has always been Julie Kelly.

Congrats to both of them. You will be missed!

-- Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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