SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) - Siloam Springs has been on a dominant run in both boys and girls soccer over the past half decade.
That was expected to continue in the 2015 season but the Panthers and Lady Panthers were dealt a haymaker off the field.
Coach Jason Bowen was put on administrative leave then ultimately resigned in early March, leaving both soccer clubs scrambling but they weren't down for long.
Both the Panthers and Lady Panthers find themselves in the 6A state soccer games this weekend on Razorback Field and they've reached this point by overcoming the hand that was dealt.
"We pretty much just kept our eyes on the prize for the whole season and we have been focused to not let that little road bump get in the way and we all knew that we wanted to win state," Lady Panthers senior Annika Bos said.
"Players have started to focus towards each other and become more of a team," Panthers senior James Pollard said. "Yeah, coaches change but at the end of the day it’s us on the field."
The Siloam Springs administration didn't have to look very far to find a new coach for the soccer programs as Chuck Jones was promoted and has built upon what he's seen over the past four years at the school.
"It was an easy transition because he was already a part of our family," Panthers senior Lucas Nitz said. "It was sad when coach Bowen left but we’re an united team and it was easy transfer because he’s been a part of our family before."
"It’s not really a big change because he was always with us but we just do things differently now and I guess we came together as a team," Lady Panthers senior Jaci Hoelscher said.
The Panthers will face Russellville in the boys title game while the Lady Pathers will square off with Searcy in the championship match and their new coach is just enjoying the ride.
"It’s the athletes. It’s the kids," Jones said. "We’re blessed with kids that love soccer and work hard in soccer and they’re willing to come out and do what we ask of them to get better and that’s the first and most important thing."