Benton High School football fans can expect to see some changes this season under new head coach Reynolds Moore.
“We’ll probably throw the football a little bit more than Benton fans are accustomed to, but I can’t say that for sure until I’m able to get here and evaluate the talent we have on campus and see what we have coming up through the middle school and the younger ranks,” Moore said in his opening remarks at a press conference Monday afternoon to announce his hiring.
Benton has traditionally run the ground-oriented Wing-T offense. That will likely change.
Four of the six Bossier Parish schools ran some form of the wide-open, pass-oriented spread offense last season.
Benton could join them this season.
“I am a spread guy at heart and so my offenses have been a quarterback-driven offense,” Moore said. “They have been centered around throwing the football. I know that if you ask any of the officials in our area (Alexandria) they will tell you that our games last longer than anybody else’s.”
Moore, 33, comes to Benton after four seasons as head coach at Bolton High. The Bears finished 2-8 last season, including 1-4 in District 3-4A. Bolton was 11-29 the last four seasons, according to the website MaxPreps.com.
Moore replaces Caleb Guidry, who resigned after last season after four seasons. Guidry was 22-23 overall, including 4-6 last year.
Benton principal Mitch Downey, who was 141-50 in 16 seasons (1993-2008) as Benton’s head coach, said he expects Moore to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the job.
“It’s definitely a very passionate, very intense, very aggressive mindset that he has,” Downey said. “I think he’s got his values in the right place. His priorities in life are evident. His family is a huge part. His faith is a tremendous part. And what he wants to accomplish and what he’s willing to do in terms of his work ethic was evident to us — (assistant principals) Mr. (Kyle) Machen, Mr. (Arthur) James and myself.
“Considering what coach Moore is willing to bring and is able to bring and what we already have here with the tremendous staff that we already have in place, this is a winning combination and we’re very excited about today.”
Moore is a 2002 graduate of Ole Miss. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Northwest Rankin High School in Brandon, Miss.
He then spent a year as an assistant at a high school in Georgia before returning to his home state as offensive coordinator at Horn Lake High School in Horn Lake, Miss. Horn Lake and Northwest Rankin are both Class 6A schools.
Moore and his wife, Chyrissee, have three children — 9-year-old son RJ and 7-year-old twin daughters Caroline and Gracie.
“Without the support of my wife and kids, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “The five of us have always tried to follow God’s will and we certainly believe that this new opportunity is in line with what He intends for our lives.”
Reynolds said his faith and family always come first.
“Benton High School gets everything else,” he said “I look forward to being a part of this great school and this great community.”
He said he decided to put his hat in the ring for the Benton job after making a few phone calls to some people he trusted.
“Everyone assured me of the support I would have here at Benton and what a great opportunity it would be,” he said.
“I called coach Downey and spoke with him and after speaking with him I knew I had to submit my resume’. After that I was interviewed and it was clear to me I would have the support of the administration, community and faculty I have been looking for my entire coaching career.”
Moore sees great potential at Benton.
“Usually, when you come into a program as a young coach there is a lot of work to be done,” he said. “No doubt there is work to be done but there is already such strong community support, such a great tradition of success, that it makes that path a little bit easier.”