Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 - Final Football Week

We were 4 for 4 in picking playoff winners last week. Congratulations on championships to Shiloh Christian (4A) and Junction City (2A). Both will begin 2010 as 2-time defending state champions looking to 3-peat. Fountain Lake prevailed over Harding Academy while Prescott took out Rivercrest.

As most of you know, the 3A state final venue shifts from War Memorial to UCA's Estes Stadium. We started the playoffs believing that Fountain Lake would be hoisting the trophy at season's end. Nothing in the extended playoffs has changed our thoughts on this. If you can make it to Conway, we think that these two teams will put on an exciting game for you with the Cobras winning a close one.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 - Playoff Week 5 Shootout Pick

We were 3 for 3 in picking winners of the state finals last week. Congratulations to Springdale Har-Ber (7A), El Dorado (6A), and Monticello (5A) on your championships. We're sure that you are happy to start the '10s with the target on your back.

When the season started, we KNEW that this week was the final weekend of high school football in Arkansas.  As the story unfolded, we get one more week (well, one more game).  The state finals this week are, of course, our picks for the games of the week.  The 4A championship features Shiloh Christian against an excellent Lonoke team.  We picked Shiloh when the playoffs were kicking off, and we look for the Saints to bring another trophy to Springdale to go with the hardware from Har-Ber.  The 2A finals feature a rematch of Bearden and Junction City.  Bearden scraped by Junction City in the regular season, but we are going with the Dragons who are trying to win back-to-back state titles.

The semifinal games in 3A should entertaining if you can't make it to War Memorial. Harding Academy will travel to Fountain Lake while Rivercrest visits Prescott. I think we will see Fountain Lake and Prescott in UCA's Estes Stadium next weekend.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

2009 - Playoff Week 4 Shootout Pick

Our pick for the Shootout of the Week last weekend was one of the best high school football games I have witnessed since last year's 5A state championship game between Pulaski Academy and Helena-West Helena. Nashville and Shiloh Christian both had defensive touchdowns, big plays on offense, and "special" special teams. We are sure that the Scrappers are wondering how they lost that game after the way the first 18 minutes went. We are also sure that the Saints are wondering how they won the game after the first 18 minutes.

Having said all that, we don't know how we could pick games other than the state championship games as our picks for games of the week. The 7A state championship game again features two 7A West rivals (Springdale Har-Ber and Ft. Smith Southside) on Saturday afternoon. Har-Ber plays a lot more physical defense than most realize and we think that mentality will carry the Wildcats to their first state title. The 6A title game will be a battle between El Dorado and Pine Bluff. We think that El Dorado has consistently been the best team in this class all year and feel that they will hoist the trophy in War Memorial. Finally, in the 5A championship, Monticello takes on Camden Fairview Friday night. We believe that Monticello will finish off the perfect 14-0 season in a close one over the Cards.

If you decide that you just can't make it to Little Rock, there will be another great matchup in Springdale weekend as Bald Knob looks to extend their dream season for one more week. They face a tough opponent (Shiloh Christian) in order to keep those perfect season hopes alive. Does Shiloh have anything left in the tank after that battle with Nashville? Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 - Playoff Week 3 Shootout Pick

Happy Thanksgiving!  Some schools around the state of Arkansas have made it a yearly tradition of practicing on this day.  Our pick for Week 3 of the 2009 playoffs is a matchup of two teams that have done that.  This week we are selecting the Shiloh Christian - Nashville matchup in Springdale as our shootout.

This game has been anticipated since the playoff brackets were revealed last spring.  We think that SC will be tested for the first time since early in the season.  Nashville is a tough team that knows this deep playoff territory very well.  If you get the chance to see it, we think the action in Champion's Stadium will be very intense.  We think that Shiloh will prevail over the Scrappers, but we would not be surprised if Nashville wins one as a going away present for Coach Dawson.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

2009 - Playoff Week 2 Shootout Pick

First, a little bit of history:
  • 2006:  Greenwood 56, Pulaski Academy 55 (5A State Championship Game)
  • 2007:  Greenwood 57, Pulaski Academy 50 (5A Quarterfinals)
  • 2008:  Pulaski Academy 54, Greenwood 24 (5A Semifinals)
So, our pick for the shootout this week:  Pulaski Academy @ Greenwood [Smith-Robinson Field in Greenwood - 7:30 pm].  This one should be another barn burner.  Had PA not stumbled in the mud at Little Rock Christian 2 weeks ago, this one could have been postponed until a meeting at War Memorial. The last FOUR 5A state championships are represented in this game.  Need we say anything else?  Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bill Belichick vs. 31 Other Coaches*

It's certain that you have seen by now the Bill Belichick decision to go for it on 4th down last Sunday. It's almost a given that you have heard how terrible, foolish, etc. it was for him to not trust his defense. The real question for me, "Is did Belichick improve his chance of winning the game?" I know this will be hard for many of you to believe, but the answer is YES! By going for it in that situation, Belichick increased his chance of winning from 70% to 79%.


Well, it's not me, but statistics from hundreds of NFL games using expected outcomes of any given situation. If you haven't seen the website that analyzes this type of situation for many games, it is called Advanced NFL Stats. Here is the link to the analysis that shows Belichick was right. AND, there was fallout from the initial analysis claiming that it was faulty, so here is the link to the rebuttal column that was posted later.

So, why the dustup for Belichick over this? That is pretty simple. It just proves that the majority of coaches (31 out of 32) in the NFL are optimizing a different variable than chance of winning. It is my opinion that coaches are minimizing the "media exposure/fan outcry" variable rather maximizing the chance at winning. Belichick may not have known the exact numbers produced by the Advanced NFL Stats, but he knew for certain that making the 1st down seals the game.

The real question is how do fans allow themselves to fall victim to supporting strategies that work against the team's chance of success? For one, the coaches have put up a smoke screen that allows them to shift the blame/risk from himself to the players/defense. Really, I think it is simply that the coaches (and fans) don't know the optimum strategies, or the coaches refuse to take the heat for a winning strategy (by statistical analysis) that fails in a given instance. You will find VERY similar arguments in baseball when discussing the "manufacture" of runs. In that case, bunting, stealing bases, and other small ball, work against the team that implements those strategies. However, that idea is accepted as sound strategy by almost everyone in the game.

So, here's to Belichick. It takes guts to make the right decision, and he continues to lead in that category. One other thing, what do you think the media would have said in these two situations?
  1. Pats make the 1st down and win the game against the Colts.
  2. Pats punt and Manning drives the Colts 65 yards for the win.
Let us know what you think the buzz would have been with those outcomes.


*This article is cross-posted at 4th and 10.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 - Post Week 10 Playoffs Predictions

As we talked about earlier in the week, we decided to start the playoffs with our quick look at who will hoist the hardware in War Memorial in about 1 month hence. Let us know who you believe will be crowned in December.


This one seems like a gimme after the way the Bentonville Tigers played last Friday against Springdale Har-Ber. The 17-0 shutout of their competition for the 7A West conference crown served notice that the Tigers will make a deep run. We think that the Bentonville Tigers will repeat as the 7A champs in 2009.


We believe that the 6A classification will have a new champion even though Lake Hamilton is in the playoffs. The Wildcats of El Dorado have consistently played like the best team in 6A. We look for them to take a year's worth of bragging rights into the offseason.


It's the end of a regular season, and surprise of surprises, the rest of 5A is looking west toward Greenwood's Bulldog stadium as the route that must be followed to win the big one in Little Rock. Coach Jones has had about a year to remind his team of how last year ended. Our prediction is that the GW Bulldogs will arrive in the Rock to take home a 4th championship in the last 5 years.


To many (us included), the Saints of Shiloh Christian are the favorites to win the 4A title. However, they have not seem much competition since conference season began 7 weeks ago. We predict an SC title, but we would not be surprised if the battle tested Nashville Scrappers find a way to derail the Saints.


In the 3A, the Fountain Lake Cobras continue to impress. They have many believing that they are the class of the 3A. The Cobras will RUN their way to a title in War Memorial.


The Junction City Dragons are the defending champs and we think they will make a strong run to defend their title. However, Bearden has claimed a win over Dragons already this year. We think that they will bring home the hardware from the state capital.


That's all we have for you this week. Let us know where we are wrong. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009 - Playoffs Begin

Playoff!?!?! Yes, that's right. It is already football playoff time in Arkansas. Sometime this week, we will give our favorites for each classification. Here's a small preview:
  • We think that at least two of the defending state champions will repeat.
  • At least one of us believes that the 5A will have a new champ with a familiar name.
Check back later in the week for the slate of predictions.

Friday, November 6, 2009

2009 - Week 10 Shootouts

Sorry that we have missed a couple of weeks, but we have some really good games on slate for tonight. The first game is so obvious that even a caveman could pick it. Pulaski Academy travels a short distance across Little Rock to play Little Rock Christian. This one has been selected by ESPNU as the Old Spice High School Showcase presented by Nike. Sensational RB Michael Dyer makes a national TV appearance against a PA team (led by Coach Kevin Kelley) which has been featured on NFL Films, ESPN's First Take, and the Freakonomics Blog of the New York Times. We have a feeling that Dyer will not be enough for LRCA. We predict that the Bruins secure the #1 playoff seed, and the opportunity to play at home for rest of their season.

Other games to watch tonight include: (1) the 7A West Championship Game in Bentonville as the Tigers host Springdale Har-Ber and (2) a pivotal playoff implication game as West Helena hosts Batesville.

Once again, we KNOW that we have missed a ton of games out there, but that's why we ask you to tell us about them in the comments. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 - Week 7 Shootouts

This week we decided to just pick a game or two from each division. No winners/losers, but games that hold our interests as far as determining league championships or playoff seedings.

  • North Little Rock @ Little Rock Catholic
  • Fayetteville @ Fort Smith Southside
  • Springdale Har-Ber @ Rogers Heritage


  • Watson Chapel @Lake Hamilton


  • Monticello @ White Hall
  • Camden Fairview @ Little Rock Christian
  • Wynne @ Batesville
  • Heber Springs @ Bald Knob
  • Ashdown @ Nashville
  • Rose Bud @ Barton
  • McCrory @ Augusta

We KNOW that we have missed a ton of games out there, but that's why we ask you to tell us about them in the comments. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Following College Football

We know that you are here because you like football whether it's high school or summer 7-on-7 (and probably college and pro). One of our buddies has started a blog that discusses college football rankings and highlights weekly matchups. He also complains about a lot of things that college fans despise about the current bowl system and the biases of the media/polls. Please stop by and let him know what you think:

4th and 10 Blog

We think he can take it, but we want you to find out for us.

Friday, October 9, 2009

2009 - Week 6 Shootouts


The 7A West leaves us no real intrigue this week, but the 7A Central provides us with two interesting matchups.

  • Cabot at North Little Rock - Cabot is undefeated and has only been challenged one time this season with their 5 point win last week against Catholic. North Little Rock’s only loss was to 6A’s best team, El Dorado. This game may be for the conference crown. CABOT by 3.
  • Russellville at Bryant - Undefeated Bryant is looking to go to 6-0 as they take on Russellville, whose only loss was to North Little Rock and tied Fayetteville. Both of these teams are trying to make a case of “we are for real.” Bryant already has a strong argument, and Russellville’s will start theirs with a victory tonight. BRYANT by 10.


The only big matchup this week occurred last night as Lake Hamilton traveled to Pine Bluff to pick up an important win, 27-23.



  • Greenbrier at Greenwood - This may be the first time in history that this game has been interesting to anyone. Greenbrier is 4-1 and undefeated in conference play, which includes a mercy rule victory over CAC last week. Greenwood is Greenwood, and this is usually about the time they get rolling. We like Greenbrier and what Coach Tribble is doing, but they are still two years away from being able to beat the Bulldogs. GREENWOOD by 14.


  • Magnolia at Camden Fairview - Both teams had Pulaski Academy on the ropes at halftime, the difference is that Magnolia held on for a 15-point win while Camden let the Bruins back in the game and suffered a 10-point loss. This is a big rivalry game and has home-field advantage throughout the playoffs on the line. MAGNOLIA by 13.


  • Batesville at Forrest City - Forrest City has surprised a lot of folks with back-to-back wins over Greene County Tech and West Helena. Batesville is doing its yearly song and dance of just taking care of business. Their lone blemish on their schedule was a tie at home against Mountain Home. I think Batesville’s youth may show up in this one at Forrest City. FORREST CITY by 1.
  • Warren at Dumas - This game is likely for all the marbles in the 8-4A. DUMAS by 6.
  • Stuttgart at Bald Knob - There is no telling when the last time Bald Knob was 5-0. We’re not thinking they’ll make it to 6-0. STUTTGART by 7.

Friday, October 2, 2009

2009 - Week 5 Shootouts

Wow! Did we ever send you to wrong games last Friday in NWA. The games that we felt would be real battles turned into one sided affairs. The Shiloh game was what we expected, and the Saints decided NOT to make a political statement. We have some thoughts on the effort that we saw during Berryville-Shiloh Christian game, but THAT would definitely be a political statement. Since you are here for football not politics, we will stay away from our views on that subject for now. In any case, we hope we will do a little better with the games we pick for tonight.

This week we chose a contrast in styles as we think that game between Wynne and Greene County Tech will be an entertaining one to watch. GCT is trying to establish itself with Coach Conaway and Wynne brings a lot of speed and tradition. We think the El Dorado hosting Texarkana match-up will be another interesting game.

Some other games to watch:
  • Pulaski Academy @ Camden Fairview
  • Bearden @ Junction City
  • Bentonville @ Ft. Smith Southside
We KNOW that we have missed a ton of games out there, but that's why we ask you to tell us about them in the comments. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 - Week 4 Shootouts

Wow! Did we ever send you to 2 good games last Friday? Greenwood walked (or perhaps the offensive players crawled) away with a hard fought 54-51 victory over Shiloh Christian. Lake Hamilton squeaked by Pulaski Academy 32-30 in a matchup of 2 defending state champions.

This week we are going to be a little (make that a lot) Northwest Arkansas "centric." We think that 2 of the 7A West battles will be very interesting. First, we have the battle for Springdale as the Har-Ber Wildcats and the Springdale Bulldogs will tee it up. The second 7A West battle will occur as the defending 7A champions from Bentonville drive about 25 miles south on I-540 to take on the Fayetteville Purple Dogs. If last year's conference battles are any indication, these two games will be absolute slugfests and should be very entertaining.

For those of you interested in the politics of the Arkansas Activities Association, we have one other game of note in NWA. Berryville will travel (we assume) to Shiloh Christian for a rematch of a game that sparked a ton of controversy last fall (and into last spring and summer). I wouldn't go to this game for the contest on the field, but the politics after the game could be interesting if Coach Floyd and the Saints decide to make some sort of "statement" with their offensive performance.

We KNOW that we have missed a ton of games out there, but that's why we ask you to tell us about them in the comments. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wrapup and First 2009 Shootout of the Week (Week 3)

Well all, we need to do a little apologizing before writing about our picks of the week. We just disappeared after that last post on the Vype tournament. We had planned to provide more information about that event and an end of year summary. Instead, life (a tonsillectomy, 2 trips out of the state, multiple birthday parties for nieces and nephews, and the start of football practices) got in the way of us providing that to you. We hope that won't prevent you from returning here during the 2009 high school football season.

Looking at tonight's slate of games in the state, one game jumps off the page for us (particularly if you are in the western part of Arkansas). Shiloh Christian travels to Greenwood tonight for the renewal of series of games that has been EXTREMELY entertaining over the past couple of years. We have no reason to believe that both teams won't score 30+ tonight. If forced to make a prediction, we would go with the Saints. However, Rick Jones will have the Bulldogs ready, and it wouldn't surprise us if they came away with a hard fight win.

Another game that we notice in the slate is the Lake Hamilton trip to Little Rock to take on the Pulaski Academy Bruins. We feel that this will also be a high scoring game that matches two defending state champions. Both teams suffered heavy graduation losses, but both know what it takes to win. We look for an entertaining game, but won't pick a winner in this one.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend! Hopefully, football will be part of it. If it is, try to stay dry. By the way, if you have a game that we should talk about, take the opportunity and talk about it yourself in the comments.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bulldogs Take Home Title (Friday's Results Included)

Fayetteville won their second big tournament today as they put down both Shiloh Christian in the finals of the winners bracket and Rogers in the finals to finish the two day stretch 11-0. They also went undefeated at the Shootout of the South last month as they took home that championship.

Brandon Allen and Michael Heintzman were named the MVP's of the tournament.

More on Saturday's Tournament later.


Fayetteville, Shiloh Christian, Sherman (TX), and Springdale went undefeated in pool play on Friday.

Here are Friday's Standings:

Sherman 7 0
Greenbrier 5 2
West Helena 5 2
Rogers 4 3
Russellville 2 5
Harrison 2 5
Gravette 2 5
Harrisburg 1 6

Springdale 7 0
Lake Hamilton 6 1
Blue Valley 5 2
Nashville 3 3 1
LR Christian 3 4
West Fork 1 5 1
Mayflower 1 6
Gentry 1 6

Fayetteville 7 0
El Dorado 6 1
Lakeside 5 2
Dumas 4 3
Farmington 2 4 1
Searcy 1 5 1
Clarksville 1 6
Prairie Grove 1 6

Shiloh 7 0
Heritage 5 2
Siloam Springs 4 3
GCT 3 4
Magazine 3 4
Elkins 1 4 1
Huntsville 0 6 1

Thanks to Mike Capshaw of VYPE for providing the scores.

1 p.m.

Rogers 24 Gravette 31
Russellville 0 Greenbrier 28
Springdale 28 Gentry 14
Lake Hamilton 31 West Fork 12
Fayetteville 38 Prairie Grove 7
Searcy 10 Farmington 10
Rogers Heritage 31 Elkins 17
Siloam Springs 34 Magazine 16

1:30 p.m.
West Helena 28 Harrisburg 24
Sherman, Texas 45 Harrison 17
Blue Valley, Kansas 31 Little Rock Christian 12
Mayflower 31 Nashville 62
Hot Springs Lakeside 31 Clarksville 24
El Dorado 21, Dumas 7
Huntsville 14 Greene County Tech 21
Shiloh 38 Elkins 14

2 p.m.
Greenbrier 28 Rogers 32
Harrisburg 47 Gravette 0
West Fork 10 Springdale 28
Blue Valley, Kansas 42 Gentry 14
Farmington 7 Fayetteville 28
Clarksville 21 Prairie Grove 7
Rogers Heritage 14 Greene County Tech 21
Siloam Springs 23 Huntsville 7

2:30 p.m.
Sherman, Texas 38 Russellville 24
Harrison 13 West Helena 27
Nashville 17 Lake Hamilton 24
Mayflower 14 Little Rock Christian 17
Dumas 21 Searcy 14
El Dorado 17 Hot Springs Lakeside 14
Shiloh Christian 35 Magazine 0
Greene County Tech 31 Elkins 35

3 p.m.
Rogers 42 Harrisburg 28
Greenbrier 20 Sherman, Texas 21
Springdale 21 Blue Valley, Kansas 14
Nashville 17 West Fork 17
Fayetteville 55 Clarksville 14
Dumas 31 Farmington 7
Rogers Heritage 48 Siloam Springs 21
Shiloh Christian 43 Greene County Tech 7

3:30 p.m.
Gravette 14 Harrison 17
Russellville 14 West Helena 28
Gentry 28 Mayflower 42
Lake Hamilton 24 Little Rock Christian 3
Prairie Grove 21 El Dorado 35
Searcy 24 Hot Springs Lakeside 28
Huntsville 10 Magazine 20
Siloam Springs 24 Elkins 17

4 p.m.
Sherman, Texas 28 Rogers 21
Harrison 14 Harrisburg 7
Springdale 31 Nashville 17
Mayflower 14 Blue Valley, Kansas 31
Fayetteville 28 Dumas 14
El Dorado 21 Clarksville 10
Shiloh Christian 34 Huntsville 17
Siloam Springs 43 Greene County Tech 7

4:30 p.m.
West Helena 14 Greenbrier 35
Gravette 17 Russellville 14
Little Rock Christian 24 West Fork 14
Lake Hamilton 38 Gentry 17
Hot Springs Lakeside 35 Farmington 2
Searcy 7 Prairie Grove 17
Rogers Heritage 38 Magazine 28
Shiloh Christian 37 Siloam Springs 14

6 p.m.
Rogers 48 Harrison 14
West Helena 31 Sherman, Texas 34
Springdale 31 Mayflower 28
Little Rock Christian 21 Nashville 28
Fayetteville 28 El Dorado 7
Hot Springs Lakeside 49 Dumas 47
Rogers Heritage 28 Huntsville 14
Magazine 23 Elkins 14

6:30 p.m.
Harrisburg 14 Russellville 48
Greenbrier 37 Gravette 17
Lake Hamilton 28 Blue Valley, Kansas 14
West Fork 10 Gentry 24
Searcy 34 Clarksville 14
Farmington 16 Prairie Grove 0
Shiloh Christian 34 Rogers Heritage 21
Huntsville 17 Elkins 17

7 p.m.
Rogers 21 West Helena 28
Russellville 38 Harrison 28
Springdale 35 Little Rock Christian 28
Lake Hamilton 42 Mayflower 28
Fayetteville 55 Hot Springs Lakeside 31
Searcy 7 El Dorado 24
Greene County Tech 20 Magazine 17
Rogers Heritage 31 Siloam Springs 0

7:30 p.m.
Gravette 10 Sherman, Texas 38
Harrisburg 42 Greenbrier 59
Nashville 42 Gentry 7
Blue Valley, Kan. 38 West Fork 20
Dumas 30 Prairie Grove 14
Clarksville 10 Farmington 14
Shiloh Christian 20 Greene County Tech 17
Huntsville 10 Magazine 21

8 p.m.
Russellville 21 Rogers 31
Gravette 28 West Helena 31
Springdale 35 Lake Hamilton 28
Little Rock Christian 28 Gentry 21
Fayetteville 42 Searcy 7
Hot Springs Lakeside 17 Prairie Grove 7

8:30 p.m.
Harrison 14 Greenbrier 48
Sherman, Texas 35 Harrisburg 21
Mayflower 14 West Fork 27
Nashville 20 Blue Valley, Kan 24
El Dorado 28 Farmington 10
Dumas 45 Clarksville 7

Thursday, July 16, 2009

VYPE Select 7-on-7 Begins Friday

The 2nd Annual VYPE Select 7-on-7 begins Friday with 31 teams traveling to Northwest Arkansas for the two-day event. The VYPE tournament assembles most of the best 7-on-7 teams and skill position players from across the state.

This year's tournament field is loaded with just about all of the champions and runners-up from prior tournaments. Lake Hamilton is coming off of a tournament championship at Fountain Lake last weekend, and Lakeside finished as the runner-up. Shiloh Christian won their inaugural Southwest Select 7-on-7 last weekend defeating Fayetteville, the Shootout of the South champion, in the finals. Sonic Air Raid runner-up, Greenbrier, will also compete this weekend.

The only in-state champions from major tournaments not attending are Bryant from the Arkansas Sports Performance Center Summer Showdown and Pulaski Academy from the Sonic Air Raid. Pulaski Academy won last year's inaugural VYPE Select Tournament.

Other teams highlighting the field are last year's tournament runner-up, Sherman (TX), last year's 5A and 6A state runner-up, West Helena and El Dorado, and the always dangerous Pine Bluff with senior quarterback, Claude Johnson.

The favorite for this year's event would have to be Shiloh Christian. They have a very good junior class with an outstanding quarterback as well as the system to get it done.

After Shiloh would be Fayetteville, likely followed by Sherman, Springdale, Lake Hamilton, and Pine Bluff.

Here is the schedule for Friday's Pool Play:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Perryville Hosting Small School Tournament on Saturday

Perryville Coach Marc Tucker has admirable goals for his 7-on-7 tournament. "We hope to get this to be the biggest small school tournament in the state. We want the small schools to have a change to compete against teams on their own level."

Coach Tucker is trying to encourage teams who have been discouraged. He believes many small schools don't play 7-on-7 or don't play it much because most tournaments will be filled with teams from all different classifications all the way up to 7A. His desire is to provide a place where those teams can come and compete without worrying about being embarrassed.

This same idea was first conceived by Coach Marc Davis and Tommy Gilleran at Fountain Lake when their tournament had grown to the point where they had to solve the problem of keeping the likes of Springdale and Fayetteville from coming and feasting on teams like themselves and Dierks. They separated their tournament into a large school and small school division. This is best for both sides as competition is better for everyone involved.

So as many of the large schools travel to Fayetteville this weekend for the VYPE tournament, many small schools can get their work in at Perryville.

Coach Tucker is still looking for 3-4 more teams to put his tournament at 12. If you are interested, you can contact him at (501) 889-2266.

The tournament currently has 8 teams: Fountain Lake, Mansfield, Two Rivers (a consolodated school of Ola, Fourche Valley, and Plainview), Des Arc, Walnut Ridge, Mountain Pine, Cutter Morning Star, and of course, Perryville. He is also waiting to hear back from a ninth team, Union Christian.

They will begin play at 9 A.M. on Saturday. They will be divided into two pools with each team playing every team from their pool. The top two teams from each pool will play in a 4-team, single-elimination tournament to crown the champion. Each game will be 20-minute running clock using popular 7-on-7 scoring rules: 6 pts for TD, 1-pt automatic or 2-pt option from the 10-yard line, 2 pts for INT.

Admission will be free. T-shirts will be provided for coaches and for the championship team. Concessions will be provided with snacks, drinks, and burgers. Water will be provided for the players. These accomodations are made possible by two sponsors: Perry County Big Star Food and Drug and TJ's Quick Stop.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Inaugural Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Begins Friday

Shiloh Christian will host the inaugural Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Showcase this Friday and Saturday in Springdale. The tournament will provide spectators with exciting games as some of the top teams in Northwest Arkansas and some strong out-of-state competition will be there.

There will be 12 teams divided into two pools of six. Each team will play five intrapool games and two games from teams outside their pool. The tournament will be after lunch on Saturday with seeding being from the teams' pool play record.

Arkansas Teams:

Shiloh Christian - The Saints are one of the top passing teams in the state and have one of the most talented junior classes in the state regardless of competition. They have two very good junior quarterbacks in Kiehl Frazier and David Matthews. They are the defending 4A State Champions.

Bentonville - The Tigers are the 7A State Champions and will threaten for the title again this year as they return almost everyone on the offensive side of the ball. They have one of the best coaches in the history of Arkansas High School football, in Barry Lunney, Sr. He is one of the pioneers of the spread offense in Arkansas, however, Bentonville has not been historically strong in 7-on-7 competition.

Arkansas Baptist - The Eagles are not traditionally a top team in their classification, but they have fared well the last few years in 7-on-7 competitions. That can partly be attributed to their quarterback, Logan Quinn, and his go-to receiver, Greg Bowie. Bowie is gone, but Quinn will still be leading the team as the signal caller.

Mayflower - The Eagles are coming off one of their best seasons in history, but they have graduated many of the reasons why. However, Coach Jed Davis is ready to show that this team is not going to just lay down. They competed well at the Shootout of the South with their only big loss coming to Fayetteville.

Har-Ber - All you need to know is that the Wildcats are the defending 7-on-7 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. They will also be one of the favorites to win the 7A title this year.

Fayetteville - The Purple Dogs won the Shootout of the South, rolling through pool play and the tournament undefeated and almost unchallenged. They have arguably the best quarterback in the state in junior Brandon Allen. They also have a very athletic and polished receiving corps.

Springdale - The Red Dogs are coming off of a tough season but will return 13 starters off of that 5-6 team. In order to do well this weekend, they will need junior quarterback Joseph Calcagni and some receivers to step in for graduated Missouri commit Ashton Glaser and one of the state's best receivers last year, Ladarius Eckwood.

Siloam Springs - The Panthers are building a tradition as they have been to the playoffs for four straight years in the tough 5A West. They are now under first year head coach Bryan Ross, who has been the offensive coordinator. Siloam should do well this weekend with their offensive and defensive systems, but they are relatively new on the 7-on-7 circuit.

Out of State Teams:

Jenks (OK) - The Trojans were the 6A runners-up last year and have one of the best programs in the region.

Muskogee (OK) - The Roughers finished 7-4 last sason and were conference runners-up.

Metro Christian (Tulsa, OK) - The Patriots finished 9-3 last season under first year head coach Jared McCoy.

Neosho (MO) - The Wildcats finished 8-4 last season and finished first in conference.

We feel the favorites for the tournament are Fayetteville and Shiloh Christian. Both teams boast great quarterbacks and well-polished receivers with great offensive systems. Although Har-Ber is the defending national champions, they may not have the experience at quarterback to string together enough wins against these teams to win this tournament.

Admission for the tournament is free. Concessions will be available and will be ran by Chik Fil A.

The schedule for the weekend can be found here:

More information on the tournament can be found on the tournaments website:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fountain Lake Tournament Preview (July 11)

The longest running 7-on-7 tournament in the state is this weekend at Fountain Lake. Fourteen teams will participate. Seven schools will compete for a "large" division (5A-7A) title, while the other seven will compete for a "small" division (2A-4A) championship.

The tournament will begin at 9 A.M. Saturday morning. Each team will play six games against the other teams in their pool. The top two teams in each pool will then play at 5:40 for a championship in their division. Pool play games will be 20 minutes running clock. The championship game will be two 15-minute halves.

The large division teams that will be competing are Conway, Bryant, Lake Hamilton, Lakeside, Morrilton, Pulaski Academy, and Fountain Lake Junior Varsity.

Lake Hamilton is a threat to win every tournament they play. Pulaski Academy has lost just four tournament games this summer to two teams, Arlington Bowie and Bryant. Unfortunately for them, Bryant lamblasted them in the finals of the Arkansas Sports Performance Center Summer Showdown at Robinson, and Bryant will be the favorite to win on Saturday.

Conway and Morrilton have the athletes to cause matchup problems for each of these "favorites," and Lakeside is capable of beating any of these teams, especially with the short 20 minute length of the games.

The small division teams is host Fountain Lake, Ashdown, Perryville, Mansfield, Centerpoint, Bismarck, and Magnet Cove.

Although Ashdown will be the most athletic team, Fountain Lake may be the favorite with their experience in 7-on-7. They played very well in the Shootout of the South, handing North Little Rock their only loss in pool play. They fell two points short against Lake Hamilton and Magnolia, and were within a touchdown against 7A Rogers Heritage. Expect Perryville to compete for one of the top two spots and play for the championship. Mansfield may also surprise some people.

The cost of admission to the tournament is free. Concessions will be available with drinks, hot dogs, and nachos. Water will be provided for the players, and a hospitality room will be available to the coaches. T-shirts will be awarded to the champions of each division.


PA vs Fountain Lake JV
Centerpoint vs Magnet Cove

Conway vs Lakeside
Fountain Lake vs Mansfield

Lake Hamilton vs Morrilton
Ashdown vs Bismarck

Bryant vs Lakeside
Magnet Cove vs Perryville

PA vs Morrilton
Fountain Lake vs Ashdown

Conway vs Lake Hamilton
Centerpoint vs Bismarck

Fountain Lake JV vs Morrilton
Mansfield vs Ashdown

Bryant vs Lake Hamilton
Perryville vs Bismarck

PA vs Conway
Fountain Lake vs Centerpoint

Lakeside vs Lake Hamilton
Magnet Cove vs Bismarck

Fountain Lake JV vs Conway
Mansfield vs Centerpoint

Bryant vs PA
Perryville vs Fountain Lake

Morrilton vs Conway
Ashdown vs Centerpoint

Lakeside vs PA
Magnet Cove vs Fountain Lake

Fountain Lake JV vs Bryant
Mansfield vs Perryville

Lake Hamilton vs PA
Bismarck vs Fountain Lake

Morrilton vs Bryant
Ashdown vs Perryville

Lakeside vs Fountain Lake JV
Magnet Cove vs Mansfield

Conway vs Bryant
Centerpoint vs Perryville

Lake Hamilton vs Fountain Lake JV
Bismarck vs Mansfield

Morrilton vs Lakeside
Ashdown vs Magnet Cove


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fayetteville wins 7-on-7 Shootout of the South

Fayetteville went undefeated through Friday's pool play and rolled through Saturday's tournament before finishing with a 49-48 nail biting victory over Arlington (TX) Bowie to win the Baptist Health Shootout of the South Championship. Bowie scored with 40 seconds left to pull within one point but failed on their two-point conversion as Fayetteville's Nathan Grady knocked down the pass for the championship.

Pine Bluff defeated Greenbrier, 30-28, to take home the Chenal Heights Nursing and Rehab Shootout Consolation title. Lake Hamilton defeated Captain Shreve (Shreveport, LA) to win the SportStop Shootout Consolation bracket.

Brandon Allen of Fayetteville was given the Top Gun Award for best quarterback. Montrae Nelson of Arlington Bowie won the Most Outstanding Receiver Award, and Fayetteville's Nathan Grady was recognized as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 1 - Shootout of the South

Day 1 at the fifth annual 7-on-7 Shootout of the South concluded Friday evening with the end of pool. The standings for Pools A-D can be found below. The standings show that the two Texas teams (Allen and Arlington Bowie) are among the class teams in the field. North Little Rock, Pulaski Academy, Fayetteville, and Pine Bluff are among the Arkansas teams that showed strong during pool play.

The Shootout of the South features a one-of-a-kind setup for its participants. Friday's pool play determines the four sectional brackets, but a poor showing during pool play does not prevent a championship run. Once the sectional seedings are determined, the Shootout (or single elimination tournament) for each team is decided on the field. Sectional round 1 losers compete in the SportStop Shootout. Sectional semi-final losers are placed in the Chenal Heights Nursing and Rehab Shootout. While the sectional winner and runner-up are both eligible to compete in the Baptist Health Shootout of the South Championship.

Pool A
1. Allen (5-0-0)
2. Nashville (4-1-0)
3. Russellville (2-2-1)
4. Central Arkansas Christian (2-2-1)
5. Greene County Tech (1-4-0)*
6. Little Rock Hall (0-5-0)**
*GCT will not compete in Saturday's Tournament.
**Little Rock Hall will compete as the Fifth Seed from Pool A.

Pool B
1. Arlington Bowie (4-0-1)
2. Pulaski Academy (4-1-0)
3. Greenbrier (3-2-0)
4. Watson Chapel (2-3-0)
5. Dumas (1-4-0)
6. Harrisburg (0-4-1)

Pool C
1. North Little Rock (4-1-0)
2. Rogers Heritage (3-2-0)
3. Lake Hamilton (3-2-0)
4. Magnolia (3-2-0)
5. Fountain Lake (2-3-0)
6. Robinson (0-5-0)

Pool D
1. Fayetteville (5-0-0)
2. Pine Bluff (4-1-0)
3. Arkansas Baptist (2-3-0)
4. Lakeside (2-3-0)
5. Captain Shreve (1-3-1)
6. Mayflower (0-4-1)

The winner of the Baptist Health Shootout of the South Championship will qualify to attend the National High School Coaches Association 7-on-7 National Championship in Hoover, Alabama on July 23-25.

Nashville 30, GCT 9
Allen 35, Hall 14
Russellville 21, CAC 21
Lake Hamilton 22, Robinson 9
North Little Rock 8, Fountain Lake 20

Heritage 23, Magnolia 16
Lakeside 28, Captain Shreve 23
Pine Bluff 35, Mayflower 30
Fayetteville 35, Arkansas Baptist 28
Pulaski Academy 39, Harrisburg 20

Allen 39, Nashville 9
NLR 28, Lake Hamilton 26
Greenbrier 35, Watson Chapel 30
Russellville 38, Hall 0
CAC 21, GCT 7

PA 30, Dumas 21
Pine Bluff 21, Captain Shreve 9
Rogers Heritage 35, Fountain Lake 28
Magnolia 30, Robinson 7
Fayetteville 41, Mayflower 21

Arlington Bowie 27, Greenbrier 23
Russellville 34, GCT 7
Arkansas Baptist 25, Lakeside 14
Watson Chapel 48, Harrisburg 16
Nashville 25, Hall 0

NLR 21, Magnolia 7
Captain Shreve 23, Mayflower 23
Allen 39, CAC 9
Lake Hamilton 30, Fountain Lake 28
Heritage 39, Robinson 7

Arlington Bowie 30, Watson Chapel 20
Dumas 28, Harrisburg 15
Nashville 35, Russellville 34
Fayetteville 37, Lakeside 21
Pine Bluff 37, Arkansas Baptist 21

Lake Hamilton 28, Rogers Heritage 23
Arlington Bowie 35, Dumas 28
PA 21, Greenbrier 14
Allen 32, GCT 14
CAC 23, Hall 9

NLR 42, Robinson 14
Magnolia 30, Fountain Lake 28
Fayetteville 28, Captain Shreve 14
Pine Bluff 29, Lakeside 28
Arkansas Baptist 35, Mayflower 28

PA 23, Watson Chapel 14
Nashville 41, CAC 20
Arlington Bowie 28, Harrisburg 28
Greenbrier 16, Dumas 14
Allen 44, Russellville 7

NLR 28, Heritage 21
Magnolia 28, Lake Hamilton 25
GCT 14, Hall 4
Fountain Lake 27, Robinson 11
Captain Shreve 21, Arkansas Baptist 14

Fayetteville 42, Pine Bluff 34
Arlington Bowie 21, PA 16
Watson Chapel 30, Dumas 21
Greenbrier 44, Harrisburg 19
Lakeside 35, Mayflower 28

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2009 Shootout of the South Preview

The fifth annual 7-on-7 Shootout of the South presented by Baptist Health will be held this weekend in Little Rock at the Mighty Bluebird Complex. Twenty-four teams will compete in the two-day event. Friday’s pool play will begin at 11 a.m. and will wrap up at 6 p.m. Saturday’s tournament will begin at 10 a.m. with the finals slated for 4 p.m. The winner of the event will qualify to attend the National High School Coaches Association 7-on-7 National Championship in Hoover, Alabama on July 23-25.

This tournament will feature two 5A teams from Texas, Bowie (Arlington) and Allen. Bowie is ranked in the top 20 pre-season for all of Texas, and has just qualified for the Texas 7-on-7 State Championship by winning their own 24-team tournament. Allen won the 5A Division 1 State Title last year and is ranked fifth in the 2009 pre-season rankings. The other out-of-state team this year is Captain Shreve out of Shreveport.

Twenty-one Arkansas teams grace the tournament field. Fayetteville, North Little Rock, and Pine Bluff may be the favorites at first glance. Both 6A State Champion Lake Hamilton and 5A State Champion Pulaski Academy (Little Rock) lost a large senior class, but new faces will be trying to make their mark. Lake Hamilton won the 7-on-7 tournament at the Ouachita Baptist camp earlier this month, and Pulaski Academy won the Sonic Air Raid at Searcy.

Other teams to look out for will be Russellville, Watson Chapel, Heritage (Rogers), Nashville, and Greenbrier, who finished as the runner-up at the Air Raid. The remaining teams will be Arkansas Baptist (Little Rock), Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock), Dumas, Fountain Lake, Greene County Tech (Paragould), Harrisburg, Lakeside (Hot Springs), Hall (Little Rock), Magnolia, Mayflower, and Robinson (Little Rock).

There will be outstanding quarterbacks in abundance this year as we will see some of the top signal callers from across the state lead their teams. However, the best quarterback may be from out of state as Texas 5A All-State performer Matt Brown, who has committed to Arizona, leads Allen. He will split time with his backup and 5A State Championship MVP Tucker Carter. Arlington Bowie’s Deric Davis is also being recruited to the next level as a dual-threat quarterback.

In-state quarterbacks will show off their talents highlighted by Pine Bluff third year starter Claude Johnson, who has a scholarship offer from Louisiana Monroe. Other senior signal callers to watch are Benson Jordan of Lake Hamilton, Logan Quinn of Arkansas Baptist, C.J. Branch of Watson Chapel, Will Warren of Lakeside, and Wil Nicks of Pulaski Academy.

There may never be a group of quarterbacks in this state like the 2011 class. Although not all of them will be at the Shootout, a few of them will be represented led by Brandon Allen of Fayetteville, who was the MVP at the Harding University 7-on-7 camp this past weekend, and Darion Griswold of Dumas, a 6’5” 200 pounder who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. Zach Davis of Harrisburg and when he is not playing receiver, Kyle Coleman of Watson Chapel are both juniors in that deep class. One sophomore to watch will be Greenbrier’s Neil Burcham, who was as poised as a veteran at the Air Raid on June 6.

Although this Shootout is loaded with quarterbacks, it will not be without some great receivers. Arlington Bowie will line up a receiving corps that would be the envy of many college coaches. They are led by Oklahoma State commit Montrae Nelson (6’4” 215 lbs, 4.6 40-yard dash). The other three are seniors Emmanuel Davis (6’4” 190, 4.4) and Langston Williams (5’8” 160, 4.4) and junior Cameron White (6’2” 175, 4.5). Pine Bluff’s Jonathan Frazier, North Little Rock’s Devante Rich, Fayetteville’s Jawan Mahone and Josh Hale, and Greene County Tech’s Standrick Williams and Caleb Hartwig are all senior receivers inside the Natural State border. Junior standouts attending will be Watson Chapel’s Larry Pace and Mitch Lane, Allen’s Jonathan Lee, and Fayetteville’s Demetrius Dean, who has already committed to the Razorbacks.

Defensive players causing havoc will be linebackers Bud Spears of Allen, David Smith of Pine Bluff, Barry Jackson of Watson Chapel, and Bryan McCleary of North Little Rock. Defensive back standouts include Kelsey Collins of Pine Bluff, who ran a 4.28 laser 40-yard dash, Andrew Tryon of Russellville, who has an offer from Arkansas State, Demetris Lasker of Mayflower, Colby Miller of North Little Rock, Nick Hopkins of Nashville, Antonio Jenkins of Watson Chapel, and the entire secondary of Arlington Bowie, Zyrron Walton (4.5 40-yard dash), Quentin Sargent (4.5), Zeke Asiegbu (4.6), Anthony Dorsey (4.5), Malcolm Surrell (4.4), and reserve Ananius Hudson (4.4).

Mighty Bluebird Complex is off Highway 10 West on Pinnacle Valley Road. Admission to the tournament is $5 per car each day. Concessions will be available.

24 teams
  • Allen HS (TX)
  • Arkansas Baptist (Little Rock)
  • Captain Shreve (Shreveport, LA)
  • Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock)
  • Dumas HS
  • Fayetteville HS
  • Fountain Lake HS
  • Greenbrier HS
  • Greene County Tech (Paragould)
  • Hall HS (Little Rock)
  • Harrisburg HS
  • Heritage HS (Rogers)
  • James Bowie HS (Arlington, TX)
  • Lake Hamilton HS (Pearcy)
  • Lakeside HS (Hot Springs)
  • Magnolia HS
  • Mayflower HS
  • Nashville HS
  • North Little Rock HS
  • Pine Bluff HS
  • Pulaski Academy (Little Rock)
  • Robinson HS (Little Rock)
  • Russellville HS
  • Watson Chapel HS

Mighty Blue Bird Field is located at 6800 Pinnacle Valley Road off Hwy 10 (Cantrell Road).

2009 Harding University Camp Results

As mentioned in a previous post, the Harding University Bison coaching staff held a 7-on-7 camp last weekend (June 12-13). After 2 days of tough competition, Trinity Christian Addison (TX) Trojans took home the overall championship (Wal-Mart Division). The Trojans are coached by Steve Hayes and they defeated West Memphis in the Wal-Mart division finals. The team from Heritage Hall (OK) coached by Andy Bogert took home the Aramark Division championship.

The outstanding QB award was garnered by Fayetteville's Brandon Allen. Johnny Catalano of Trinity Christian Addison took home the Best WR award. The outstanding defensive player award was won by Deontae Mitchell of West Memphis.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bryant Sweeps Showdown

The Bryant Hornets took home their second 7-on-7 Summer Showdown trophy in three years as they won all six games they played at Robinson High School on Thursday, June 11. The Hornets won the inaugural event in 2007.

Bryant defeated England (48-17), Jacksonville (10-9), and Pulaski Academy (21-20) in pool play to grab the number one seed from pool A. They would then blank Robinson in the first round, 23-0. In the semifinals, the Hornets were tied 14-14, and would drive down and score a last second touchdown to defeat the defending Showdown champion, Lakeside Rams, 21-14. The Hornets would have zero problems in the finals as they would score on their first play from scrimmage and intercept the first Pulaski Academy pass to take a 10-0 lead with less than two minutes off the clock. They would extend the lead to 27-0 and cruise to a 34-22 victory.

Other than Bryant, three other teams were impressive at the Showdown.

The Bears were undefeated in pool play and defeated England in the first round of the tournament before dropping the semifinal game to Pulaski Academy. They have a strong-armed quarterback and some nice, athletic targets to pick from at receiver. They also have some speed and size on the defensive side of the football.

Lakeside graduated one of their best classes in history, but they have some young talent ready to fill that void. The Rams’ only loss in pool play was by a touchdown to Sylvan Hills, and their tournament defeat came on a last second touchdown by Bryant.

The War Eagles only victory was against Robinson in pool play, but it was nice to see them involved in summer 7-on-7. They have a lot of potential, and it will be interesting to see if Coach Harris can develop that this summer and translate that into success this fall.


Pool A
Bryant 48, England 17
PA 28, Jacksonville 12
Bryant 10, Jacksonville 9
PA 21, England 8
Jacksonville 18, England 7
Bryant 21, PA 20

Pool B
Lakeside 21, Robinson 0
Sylvan Hills 20, Fair 3
Sylvan Hills 17, Robinson 7
Lakeside 31, Fair 24
Fair 17, Robinson 14
Sylvan Hills 24, Lakeside 17


First Round
Bryant 23, Robinson 0
Lakeside 21, Jacksonville 7
Sylvan Hills 24, England 10
PA 35, Fair 14

Second Round
Bryant 21, Lakeside 14
PA 32, Sylvan Hills 13

Bryant 34, PA 22

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Arkansas Sports Performance Center Summer Showdown

Pulaski Robinson will host the 3rd Annual Summer Showdown on Thursday, June 11. This is an 8-team tournament featuring teams from Central Arkansas and is sponsored by the Arkansas Sports Performance Center. When trying to find dates to host a tournament, Coach Todd Eskola realized three years ago that open weekends were at a premium and were difficult to avoid conflicts with other football tournaments as well as summer baseball and AAU basketball, so he started the tradition of hosting his tournament on the second Thursday in June.

This year's field is divided into two pools of four teams. Beginning at 2 p.m., teams will play each member of their pool for seeding in the tournament. The 8-team single elimination tournament will start at 5:30 with the finals beginning at 7:20.

Pool A appears to be the stronger of the two pools with this past weekend's Sonic Air Raid Champion, Pulaski Academy, the 2007 Showdown champion, Bryant, as well as a couple of traditionally athletic teams in 6A Jacksonville and 3A England.

Pool B includes three 5A schools in Sylvan Hills, Robinson, and last year's Showdown champion, Hot Springs Lakeside, as well as 6A JA Fair.

Click the image below for a complete pool play schedule and tournament bracket.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pulaski Academy Wins 2009 Sonic Air Raid

Pulaski Academy reeled off 7 straight victories at the Sonic Air Raid on Saturday to take home their second Air Raid championship. The Bruins also won the Air Raid in 2007. They did not attend the tournament in 2008.

Pulaski Academy defeated Lonoke (26-18), CAC (34-0), and Searcy (28-12) in pool play to earn their way as a one seed in the championship bracket. They would defeat Heber Springs (30-8) in the first round and Greene County Tech (36-22) in the second round to setup a matchup with Pine Bluff in the winners bracket final. Although the Bruins won by 9 points, 29-20, it took a defensive stop and a touchdown in the last minutes to seal the victory. Greenbrier would defeat Pine Bluff with a touchdown with 30 seconds left in the losers bracket final to earn the right to play the Bruins in the championship. Greenbrier led 10-0 early and 20-10 with 10 minutes left to play. The Bruins would go ahead 23-22 with 3 minutes to play, and relied on great plays by their defense to keep the Panthers out of the endzone. Greenbrier would fall short as Pulaski Academy would knock down a pass on 3rd down from the one-yard line to seal the victory and the championship.

Other than Pulaski Academy, there were lots of nice surprises from the tournament.

PINE BLUFF: The Zebras were undefeated before dropping their last two games to PA and Greenbrier. QB Claude Johnson had their offense looking like a machine at times, and their defense made some fantastic plays.

GREENBRIER: The perennial doormat of the 5A West are making strides to move up that ladder. They were led by a heady quarterback that made few mistakes and receivers that just did not drop many balls and made some very good grabs.

DES ARC: Although they were in what we considered to be a very weak pool, they held their own in their first meeting with 5A Greene County Tech in pool play in a 14-9 loss, then defeated them in the tournament 17-14. They also defeated Lonoke, 18-12. Not bad for a 2A school with a new head coach.

BALD KNOB: They were in the toughest pool and lost by just 7 points to Pine Bluff and 2 points to Little Rock Christian. After going 0-3 in pool play, they would not lose another game as they went on to win the consolation tournament. They defeated Conway Christian, Conway, and Little Rock Christian twice to win the consolation bracket.

Monday, June 1, 2009

2009 Sonic Air Raid Preview

The Sonic Air Raid hosted by Harding Academy and Searcy High School will again serve as the 7 on 7 season’s first tournament. The tournament expanded from 8 to 16 teams three years ago and is the state’s 3rd largest tournament behind the Shootout of the South (24 teams) and the VYPE Select (32 teams). The 2009 edition of the Sonic Air Raid can boast about a very solid field. The tournament, which takes place June 6, is the first leg of the Arkansas 7 on 7 Triple Crown. The Shootout of the South and Vype Select tournaments complete the state's triple crown competition.

The tournament features 4 pools of 4 teams. Each team will play the other teams in their pool (3 games). The top two teams from each pool will advance to the Land O’Frost Championship bracket (8 teams). The bottom two teams will compete in the Sonic Consolation Bracket (8 teams).


Division “A”: Conway, Greenbrier, Harding Academy, Heber Springs

Division “B”: Central Arkansas Christian, Lonoke, Pulaski Academy, Searcy

Division “C”: Bald Knob, Little Rock Christian, Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel

Division “D”: Conway Christian, Des Arc, Greene County Tech, Rose Bud

The standouts in this year’s field figure to come from Division C. That pool boasts NCAA Division 1 athletes Michael Dyer from Little Rock Christian, Claude Johnson and Jonathan Frazier from Pine Bluff, and a few athletes from Watson Chapel that will receive some looks from college coaches. Bald Knob is the 4th team in that pool and will try to win games using the Tony Franklin System that they implemented two years ago.

Other interesting stories going into the tournament will be how Conway will perform this early under new head coach Clint Ashcraft. Greenbrier will be another team to watch as Coach Randy Tribble will be in his second year. The Panthers also employ the Tony Franklin System.

Absent from this year’s tournament is last year’s champion Lake Hamilton. Lake Hamilton used their win from the Air Raid to propel them to a Shootout of the South victory a week later. They went on to win the 6A state title.

Pulaski Academy did not attend last year’s Air Raid, but they won the VYPE Select 7 on 7 last July. They are the only state champion that will be in attendance.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Public Versus Private Schools in Arkansas*


*Wally, you probably need to read this.


On Thursday, May 7, 2009, Wally Hall published a wildly inaccurate and silly "Like It Is" about private schools and financial aid to student-athletes. We will dissect many sentences and paragraphs in that article. Please follow this link and read column yourself to make sure we are not taking the cranky old columnist out of context.

Wally wants to make this an issue of sportsmanship, which it may very well be. He probably could have used lots of examples of good sportsmanship. However, he chose to use the example of a 1974 game in which Elkins beat Winslow 48-0 but held down the score by punting the ball through the endzone when they got to the one yard line. John Bunch broke a national record in that game by rushing for 608 yards. He ran the ball 38 times. If Elkins was showing such great sportsmanship that game, then why in the world did their starting running back play the entire game and carry the ball 38 times?

Let's imagine for a second that Shiloh decided they no longer wanted to score once the game got out of hand, but instead wanted to use the Super Sportsmanlike 1974 Elkins Elks way of keeping the score down. Instead of bringing in their 4th string QB, they leave their entire first string guys in but are punting the ball through the endzone every time they get close. Is Wally going to write about how "sportsmanlike" they are because they only won 35-0 in racking up 800 yards of offense?

Our next beef is that Wally accuses Pulaski Academy (PA) of running up the score by going for it on 4th and 15 on their own 10. We have many things to say about this:
  • Most coaches do not agree with Coach Kevin Kelley when it comes to punting. They have called him a "riverboat gambler" or "crazy," AND they think that the strategy will come back to haunt him someday.

  • Coach Kelley is convinced that punting in almost any situation works AGAINST his team's chances of winning, and he has statistics to back that up.

  • It is either one or the other, but it can't be both.
Most casual observers would look at the situation and think that Coach Kelley is giving the opponents the opportunity to have the ball at the 10 yard line (going in). However, Wally views this as running up the score. What kind of screwed up logic is that?

Next, Wally accuses both Shiloh Christian (SC) and PA of running up the score. PA finished the season 13-1 and the average game was 50-26 while SC finished 13-1 and the average game was 47-14. You will see similar numbers for Junction City (a public school) or Fountain Lake (a public school). As a matter of fact, Fountain Lake won their semi-final game 70-0 over the Lavaca and Junction City beat Norphlet by that same 70-0 score. Where is the call for either of these teams to be bumped one classification OR have them play in their own playoff.

Near the end of the column Wally writes, "There is no such thing as a scholarship at a public school." Unless I am mistaken, EVERY student at the government funded schools in Arkansas attends without paying tuition. They are each provided with a "scholarship" by the same taxpayers that are sometimes paying someone else (i.e., private schools) to educate their children. By the way, the students that go to private schools don't get the benefit of that tax money. It is simply gone.

Obviously, you can see where we stand on this issue. We think that private schools should be allowed to play public schools for championships. However, we also believe that if a school, private or public, is doing anything illegal such as recruiting, then they should be harshly punished and should be banned from postseason play in all sports.

It should also be noted that if this is really an issue of "running up the score," then this should be punished across the board for anyone who is guilty. Connecticut has a rule that if a team wins by 50 or more points, then their coach is suspended the following week. We wouldn't mind seeing that rule, but we would add to it that if it happens twice, the coach be suspended for the remainder of the season. We're pretty sure the Junction Cities, Shilohs, and Fountain Lakes would be able to find a way to keep the scoreboard down if that were the case.

Lastly, we will admit that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. The answer may be to move up Shiloh and PA a class or two or all the way up to 7A. We don't have the answers, but we think it would be a black eye for Arkansas high school athletics not to include some of these very good teams in their championships among all the schools.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Have a good weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Revolution Revisited*

*This is a reprint of the 1st article every posted on Arkansas 7-on-7 Football. We bring it back now as we are preparing to start a new season. Based on our site statistics, it is unlikely that most of our visitors today read that inaugural post.


The editors of this blog have been watching Arkansas High School Football since the late 1980's. When our observations started, the passing game was a necessary evil to most football teams. The key to winning games early in this time frame (1987-1997) was to run the ball effectively and win the time of possession battle. The most successful teams fell into two broad categories: (1) power or (2) speed. Both categories were just distinctions between the type of running plays that the coach liked to call. Most coaches believed the adage, "Only three can happen when you pass the ball, and two of them are bad."

The power teams typically used the I-formation of various flavors and ran right at the defense with big tailbacks and basically offensive guards playing fullback. The Cabot Panthers are an example of a team that came right at you with a Power I. They simply wanted 3.5 yards on every play. Opponents of the good teams in this category would find themselves physically dominated and battered by the 4th quarter.

The speed teams usually ran some type of option game at you and tried to isolate the corner. The option came in all kinds of flavors: wishbone, wing-T, and slot I to name a few. The Fordyce Redbugs and Pine Bluff Zebras are examples of teams that would rather run around you than through you. The goods teams in this category made opponents feel like they were at a track meet with inferior athletes and the speed could dominate you psychologically.

In the mid 1990's, a quiet change occurred around the high schools of Arkansas. Suddenly, a new offensive philosophy that didn't care about that two of the things that could happen when you throw the ball are "bad." The spread passing game appeared with great success brought in most notably by Ronnie Peacock's Greenwood Bulldogs, Barry Lunney's Southside Rebels, and Gus Malzahn's Shiloh Christian Saints. Each of these coaches brought state titles to their schools and each have moved on to other opportunities. However, their imprint on Arkansas high school football can be seen at schools all over the state with varying degrees of success from three-peat state champions (Greenwood and Nashville) to teams struggling to win more than a couple of games (Parkview and Alma for example).

What began as a "gimmick" offense to many around Arkansas high school football circles has been a revolutionary way of playing football at this level. When implemented correctly, it is a fun atmosphere for the players and fans running the system and a nightmare for opposing coaches trying to prepare for it.

One side effect of the explosion of the spread passing game is the appearance of 7-on-7 football games, leagues, and tournaments. These teams spend much of the summer perfecting timing, learning plays, and conditioning in a way that the running teams of old didn't imagine. This blog will be dedicated to keeping the 7-on-7 players, coaches, and fans up-to-date on the happenings in the world of 7-on-7 football in Arkansas.

So, thanks for stopping by to see what these high powered offensive showcases are doing. We hope that you will return again and again. If you have updates on 7-on-7 tournaments and leagues that you don't see here, please email them to us at

Ground rules for comments:
  • Please do not try to use this blog to disparage players or coaches. We are supportive of the effort that these people put forward to play, officiate, and coach in these 7-on-7 competitions.
  • If you have a different view, we would love to hear it, but please be respectful. We would be willing to publish alternative views of the 7-on-7 phenomenon as long as you can make a logical case.
  • Let us know how we can make this blog better.

*Originally posted May 3, 2008.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2009 Arkansas 7-on-7 Tournaments

June 6 – Sonic Air Raid (Searcy)

June 11 – Robinson 7-on-7 Tournament

June 12-13 – Harding University 7-on-7 Camp

June 19-20 – Shootout of the South (Little Rock)


July 11 – Fountain Lake 7-on-7 Tournament

July 17-18 – VYPE Select 7-on-7 Tournament (Fayetteville)

July 18 - Perryville 7-on-7 Camp
Teams interested can contact Assistant Coach Marc Tucker at (501)889-2266

Please let us know of any other 7-on-7 tournaments going on this summer. We will amend this article as we hear of other tournaments. We will also try to preview each tournament during the week it is to begin as well as giving a tournament wrap up for each event.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Western Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma League Idea

Over the last few years, we have heard grumblings that "isolated" schools can't catch up with the schools that live in metro areas or areas like NW Arkansas. The claims are that the areas of the state with clusters of same size schools use the summer 7-on-7 season to fine tune offenses and work on defenses against spread defenses while the isolated schools are stuck with weight training and conditioning. We recently discussed what we would do as coaches in these areas.

To make it a concrete example of our options, we had a brainstorming session a few weeks back over how teams might create 7-on-7 leagues in the area around Booneville, Waldron, Mena, and Mt. Ida. To start, we listed the schools that we know play football in the area. Here was the list:
  • Waldron
  • Mansfield
  • Booneville
  • Hartford
  • Magazine
  • Greenwood
  • Heavener (OK)
  • Mena
  • Mt. Ida
  • Poteau (OK)
  • Paris
  • Charleston
  • Ozark
Next, we put together a mileage table (below) between the towns. Using the mileage table, we looked at the average distance (and standard deviation), median distance, and the maximum distance for each town (possible host). Finally, we looked at the results to choose a town as the host school that would minimize travel time for the entire "league" that we were creating in this thought experiment.

Here is what we found. Waldron is ideally situated to minimize travel time for a 14 team league (Waldron + the 13 others). Here are the distances:
  • Average Distance: 37.9 miles (+/- 11.0 miles)
  • Median Distance: 35 miles
  • Maximum Distance: 60 miles
One interesting thing that falls out of the table above is a natural time scheduling for divisions within the league. Division 1 would be Waldron plus the 3 schools with travel distances less than 30 miles. Division 2 would have the 5 schools with travel distances to Waldron between 30 and 40 miles. Finally, Division 3 would have the 5 schools with travel distances greater than 40 miles. By making these divisions, you could schedule an early game between the Division 1 teams to allow the Division 2 and 3 teams extra travel time before their games. Inter-division games would be done in middle part of the evening schedule, and you would finish the night with the remaining games between Division 1 teams.

While we have not floated this idea to the coaches in the area, we think that putting this straw man out there at this time is a good idea. There are relatively new coaches at some of the schools (and there may be other schools not listed) that would want to get a jump on the offensive practice that 7-on-7 leagues allow.

Let us know what you think. What are the strengths and weaknesses? How could this idea be improved?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 Harding University 7-on-7 Camp

The Harding University Bisons coaching staff will be conducting a 7-on-7 Football camp June 12-13. Last year, the camp (held in Searcy, Arkansas) hosted 18 Varsity teams from 5 states. This year, the staff is planning to host Varsity, JV, and Junior High teams from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. The coaching staff indicates that several schools from Arkansas' powerful 7A West conference are already making plans to attend.

Some highlights that we see in this camp:
  • Lots of football on Friday and Saturday
  • Admission is FREE for spectators
  • Teams can work on their passing game against other quality opponents from different states
  • Players get exposure to a college campus, a sample of dorm life, and contact with NCAA Division II Football Coaches
  • Teams get a chance to start working on chemistry by spending a weekend together

If you want more information, the brochure for the camp is located at the Harding University Athletics site (Sports Camps). Thanks goes out to Coach Clay Beason for the information!


We are just starting to hear from coaches and players about the schedules for the 2009 7-on-7 Football season. As those dates firm up and we hear from organizers, we will get that information out to you. If you have information for us, leave a comment or email us at Also, check the sidebars for "Camps". We will put links to the camps that we hear about there.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2008 State Champion Roll Call

We turned our thoughts away from Arkansas high school football for a while as the 2008 season has been put in the books. Now that we have past Groundhog Day, we want to recognize the 2008 Arkansas State Football champions:

7A -- Bentonville Tigers

6A -- Lake Hamilton Wolves

5A -- Pulaski Academy Bruins

4A -- Shiloh Christian Saints

3A -- Charleston Tigers

2A -- Junction City Dragons

If you are a fan, player, or alum of these schools, leave us a comment to act as a "roll call" for these champions. We know that you are proud of them, so let us hear about it.

We will start posting 7-on-7 schedules as soon as they start to come in to us. If you have one of these schedules, please send it to us at Thanks and we hope to hear from you soon.