Photographs by Special to the Democrat-Gazette/JIMMY JONES
Cabot Coach Mike Malham (left) gives instructions to his team during the Panthers’ 35-14 victory over Pine Bluff on Aug. 31. Malham, 65, will have his first chance at career victory No. 300 tonight when Cabot takes on Benton. He would become just the second high school football coach in Arkansas with at least 300 career victories.
Friday, September 14, 2018
Mike Malham has won 299 games at Cabot High School.
With a victory tonight at Benton, Malham will become the second high school football coach in Arkansas to win 300 games. Frank McClellan won a state-record 367 games at Barton in 1970-2005.
However, Malham, who is 299-133-4 overall, is focused on his team improving to 3-0 this season after victories against Pine Bluff and El Dorado.
"We're just wanting to get ready to play a ballgame," Malham said. "I just want to have a good year, since it is my last year."
Malham, 65, is retiring after this season, which is his 38th at Cabot.
"If we don't get to 300, they'll fire me anyway," Malham joked.
During his career, Malham has won two state championships (1983, 2000) and led the Panthers to three other title games (1997, 1998, 2013). Cabot has made the state playoffs 29 times under Malham with the Dead-T offense.
"When you've been the head coach for 38 years, you're going to have some wins, for sure," Malham said. "I've had great coaches. I've had some good high school football players.
"The kids work hard and do a great job."
In a 27-10 victory last Friday at El Dorado, the Panthers rushed for 281 yards. Senior TJ Rogers scored two rushing touchdowns (31 and 5 yards) and classmate Brad Morales had a 1-yard scoring run. Senior Jesse Windemaker, who is in his first season as Cabot's starting quarterback, added a 1-yard sneak for another touchdown.
Rogers had 1,200 rushing yards last season, while Morales finished with 800.
"When you've got 2,000 yards back on offense, that's a good start," Malham said.
Benton (1-1) was off last week after facing Bryant and Arkadelphia in its first two games. Senior quarterback Colen Morrow passed for 336 yards with 3 touchdowns and classmate Zak Wallace ran for 3 touchdowns in the Panthers' 56-17 victory at Arkadelphia on Aug. 31.
Benton's offense Malham's attention.
"They're picked high in 6A," he said. "It's the same thing every week. We have to try to stop the run, but don't give up the big play on the pass play. Make them earn their way down the field."
Cabot is one of six undefeated teams in the 7A-Central Conference. Malham said he hopes the Class 6A competition the Panthers have faced will help his team for the conference schedule, which begins Sept. 21 against Little Rock Catholic for Cabot.
"North Little Rock, Conway, you go down the list," Malham said. "There's no breathers. You have to be ready to play every Friday night."
Sports on 09/14/2018
1981;7-4;Did not advance
1982;6-5;Did not advance
1983;13-1;AAA state champs
1985;7-3;Did not advance
1986;9-2;AAA first round
1988;5-4-2;AAAA first round
1989;1-8-1;Did not advance
1990;4-6;Did not advance
1991;8-4;AAAA second round
1994;7-4;AAAA first round
1995;7-5;AAAA second round
1996;7-3-1;AAAA first round
1999;10-2;AAAAA second round
2000;14-0;AAAAA state champs
2001;10-2;AAAAA second round
2003;8-3;AAAAA first round
2004;7-4;AAAAA first round
2005;1-9;Did not advance
2006;6-4;Did not advance
2007;7-4;7A first round
2008;9-2;7A second round
2010;9-3;7A second round
2011;3-7;Did not advance
2012;7-5;7A second round
2014;6-5;7A first round
2015;10-1;7A second round
2016;7-5;7A second round
2017;6-6;7A second round
TOTALS;299-133-4 (38 seasons)
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