Head Baseball Coach
Todd Shelton begins his seventh season as the Head Coach of the Panola Ponies. Coach Shelton has a 187-140 record in his five seasons at Panola and career head coaching record of 411-281. The Ponies have reached the playoffs in four of his six seasons along with a CO- Conference Championship in 2009 while being ranked as high as 7th NJCAA top 25 National Polls.
Shelton is a 1986 graduate of Conroe High School. He received his Bachelors Degree from Oklahoma State and later went on to earn a Masters Degree from Cumberland University.
Shelton attended and played baseball at McLennan Community College before going on to play for the legendary Coach Gary Ward at Oklahoma State University. As a catcher for the Cowboys, Shelton had the opportunity to play in two NCAA Regional Championships and the 1990 NCAA College World Series National Championship game. Following the 1990 College World Series, Shelton signed and played one season with the Cleveland Indians.
Shelton began his coaching career at Oklahoma State University as an assistant to Coach Ward. He then moved to be the first assistant at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) powerhouse, Cumberland University. In 1993 Cumberland advanced to the NAIA College World Series.
In August of 1994 Shelton returned to Oklahoma State University as an assistant, and once again the Cowboys returned to the NCAACollege World Series in 1996. The next season Shelton was an assistant coach on the National Championship Team at Northeast Texas Community College.
In 1997 Shelton became the head baseball coach at Eastern Oklahoma State College where he led the team to its first NJCAA College World Series in 2001. Shelton stayed at Eastern Oklahoma until 2004.
In 2005-2007, Shelton was on the staff of Oral Roberts University. During that time his teams have participated in two NCAA Regionals and the 2006 NCAA Super Regional.
Assistant Baseball Coach
Brandon Benton is entering his first season as an Assistant Coach for the Panola Ponies. Coach Benton serves as the teams Strength Coach as well as the Recruiting Coordinator and is heavily involved with the hitters and infielders. Prior to joining the Ponies staff in 2014 Benton served as the Head Coach at Central Hinds Academy in 2013. In 2012, Benton was on staff at Greenville College as a Graduate Assistant where he lead the Strength program as well as the Recruiting. In 2011, Coach Benton served as an Assistant Coach at St Aloysius High School where he worked primarily with hitters and outfielders. From 2010-2008, Benton served as an assistant for Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner-cities (RBI).
As a player, he was honored twice as an All-Conference athlete. As a senior at Mississippi College he was awarded with All-Atlantic-Southwest-Conference honors as an outfielder where he lead the team in home-runs and slugging percentage; and as a team the Choctaws lead the nation in D-3 with home-runs. Before transferring to Mississippi College, Coach Benton played at Belhaven University where he helped lead the Blazers to the school's first ever NAIA College World Series appearance. Also at Belhaven he was awarded with All-Gulf-Coast-Atlantic-Conference honors as a designated hitter. Before Belhaven Coach Benton played for Hinds Community College where he held a .404 batting average his sophmore year.
Before entering college Benton served on active duty in the United States Air Force for 4 years as a Security Forces Airman.
Benton completed his Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology (Sports Management) from Mississippi College. He is currently enrolled at Greenville College studying for his graduate degree in Coaching.