In putting together a scouting report for Friday’s game, Cabot coach Scott Reed said he’s not just seeing jersey numbers. He’s seeing faces.
The winningest coach in El Dorado football history will lead Cabot against the Wildcats on Friday. Reed resigned from EHS after the 2018 season to take over the Cabot program, replacing long-time coach Mike Malham.
Reed guided the Panthers to a 43-19 win over Pine Bluff in their season-opener last week. He said watching film of El Dorado’s 16-13 victory over Camden Fairview has been unusually difficult.
“It’s kind of hard to look at ‘em and break ‘em down as just an opponent when you know the kids you’re playing against,” Reed said. “You watch ‘em on film. Normally you see a guy and a defensive front and a coverage or whatever. I’m breaking down film going, that’s Hankton and that’s Rucks. That’s been a little different.
“I’m not just seeing opponents’ jerseys. I’m seeing faces that I have a lot of respect for and had some real good times with.”
Reed led the Wildcats for 12 seasons, compiling a 106-45 record with four state championships. El Dorado averaged nine wins per season during Reed’s tenure.
“For our family, for Connie the boys and I, that’s home. That’s where they grew up. Memories and all, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said of his time in El Dorado. “To be a part of those years, the sport, the people and just the experience, especially for our boys, all the years we were there were awesome. For a high school coach to coach his son, the teams were good. If the teams are not good a lot of times, it’s hard on you. But, our two sons had awesome experiences there with the people they grew up with and the teachers they had, the community and the friends they had there.
“I’ve been thinking about that getting ready for this week. It’s going to be awfully hard.”
The Wildcats went 5-6 in Reed’s final season, but optimism was high with an undefeated group moving up from the ninth grade. The decision to leave, he said, was not easy.
“It was really hard to leave. It was very hard to leave. Yeah, it was really hard. Some of it had to do with family,” he said. “As far as professionally, I thought that would be my last chance to try 7A and in that conference. We played in a great league in 6A, but it was a chance to coach in the highest classification. And they made it very attractive. It was a new challenge. Connie is from this town and I’m from five miles from here. This was probably the only place we would’ve ever thought about going.”
Reed, who is also the athletic director at Cabot, brought with him former El Dorado defensive coordinator John Panter along with former Wildcat assistants Mike Sprawls and Justin Wylie.
Panter and some of the other assistant coaches were in El Dorado for the Wildcats’ game against Conway two weeks ago. Reed didn’t make the trip. He went to Dallas for the Auburn vs. Oregon game. His son Taylor Reed is on the Auburn coaching staff.
“That was the only time Connie and I could get to see him play. So, we went to Dallas,” he said. “That was a good excuse not to go to El Dorado. I’ve been watching ‘em, no doubt. But I didn’t think I needed to be there.”
The coach said it’s a good thing, for him, this week’s game will be in Cabot.
“It would be really hard for me to go back to Memorial Stadium this year,” he said.
“So many good memories there. I still have all those frames of the News-Times state championship editions. There were a lot of awesome memories.”