BENTON, La (KMSS/KTAL) – “This is probably the best, or closest knit bunch I’ve seen since 2017,” said Benton Head Football Coach Reynolds Moore.

That 2017 squad went 10-0. Coach Moore attributes that success to their bond off the field. This year’s Tigers are no different.

“It really is easy to see how a team chemistry or a team bond really manifests itself on the field,” said Coach Moore.

“Everybody’s so close knit right now, and everybody’s excited to see how it plays out on the field,” said senior RJ Moore. “It’s just like a big family.”

For RJ Moore, it quite literally is family as Coach Moore is also dad. How does dad feel about his final season coaching his son?

“Wow. It’s tough when you say it like that,” said Coach Moore as he got emotional. “I guess ultimately, I’ve got a lot of players I’m still close to now, and I don’t see them everyday, or I don’t talk to them everyday. Losing them was hard. So, I can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like that Saturday morning waking up knowing that I’ve coached my last game with him.”

On the other hand, in typical high school senior fashion, RJ’s emotions are a little different.

“It’s that last year, and you’re ready to roll,” said RJ. “It means a lot more, not that it hasn’t, just knowing that it’s your last year to play football. This is it.”

“There is a special and unique bond between me and these seniors because I’ve been around them,” added Coach Moore. “They’re at my house. They’re hanging out. They’ve been doing that for years. Getting to take the field with them means as much to me as it does to them probably. I’m praying it goes as slow as it possibly can and that we soak it up and enjoy it.”

“We’ve all grown up together from kindergarten to now,” said senior EJ Washington. “I’m just looking forward to winning games, playing football and spending time with my best friends. One last ride.”

That last ride begins Sept. 2 at Northwood.