Lyon soccer lands Malone

WHITE HALL — Ben Malone has been a key ingredient to White Hall’s immediate success in soccer since its first year of varsity competition in 2011.

It’s now official that his career will continue into college. Malone on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play at Lyon College in Batesville.

“I always tried my hardest,” Malone said. “I didn’t think I would make this level, but I found out I can make it at this level if I try hard enough.”

For Ben’s father, White Hall assistant coach Don Malone, the signing is a dream come true. He’s watched his son play the game since he was 4.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” Don Malone said. “He has worked hard athletically and academically.”

Ben Malone, a 6-foot-2 left attack and midfielder, has been impressive each year at White Hall. He was named the 2011 Southeast Arkansas Boys Player of the Year after scoring 13 goals and 11 assists and followed that up with nine goals and 10 assists the next season, en route to 5A All-State honors. He currently has 10 goals and seven assists with four games remaining in the regular season.

While he’s been an offensive threat, Malone sees himself concentrating more on the defensive end at Lyon.

“A lot of guys will be faster than me, but because of my size and strength, I probably will focus on the defensive end,” he said. Malone plays center defense in the Olympic Development Program.

He also considered Central Baptist, Williams Baptist and Hendrix, but he said he chose Lyon because he likes the community.

Lyon coach Michael Brookshire attended the signing and is happy about landing Malone.

“He has good size, he’s an academic fit for us, which is important, and he’s a bright young man, which is important,” Brookshire said. “He’s a good young man with good character.”