Class 4A Week 1 Rankings, Notes and Picks

Class 4A Week 1 Rankings, Notes and Picks

Share this article

Hootens.com Rankings
Class 4A, Week 1, 2017
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Warren
2. Pea Ridge
3. Joe T. Robinson
4. Stuttgart
5. Nashville
6. Prairie Grove
7. Arkadelphia
8. Ashdown
9. Dumas
10. Hamburg
11. Pocahontas
12. Dardanelle
13. Ozark
14. Gosnell
15. Shiloh Christian
16. Star City
17. Trumann
18. Gravette
19. Booneville
20. Mena
21. Pottsville
22. Southside Batesville
23. Heber Springs
24. Crossett
25. Helena
26. Monticello
27. CAC
28. Fountain Lake
29. Lonoke
30. Highland
31. Gentry
32. Jonesboro Westside
33. Waldron
34. Huntsville
35. Malvern
36. Dover
37. Dollarway
38. Riverview
39. Brookland
40. Lincoln
41. Cave City
42. DeWitt
43. Bauxite
44. West Fork
45. Berryville
46. Harrisburg
47. Subiaco Academy
48. Baptist Prep

HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 10 Hamburg vs. No. 2 Pea Ridge
The season starts with a top 10 rematch Mon., Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at UCA's Estes Stadium in the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic. Pea Ridge beat Hamburg 36-24 in the quarterfinals a year ago, on its way to the the school's first-ever state title game appearance. The Blackhawks return five starters from an offense that averaged 39 points weekly. Senior quarterback Jakota Sainsbury passed for 2,080 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016, while senior Drew Winn ran for 1,386 yards and 23 TDs. All-conference receiver Hayden Holtgrewe caught 73 passes a year ago, and returned a punt for a crucial TD against Hamburg. “I can't complain about any of our players,” Coach Stephen Neal says. “Everyone made their summer workouts.”

Hamburg returns just six starters after winning nine games last year and advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in 20 years. Junior all-conference defensive tackle Gage Price (6-2, 255) and offensive linemen Jared Laughlin (6-5, 305) and Corey Martin (5-11, 280) are building blocks, Coach Cecil Ray Cossey says. Junior Andravyon Forrest caught the ball well in off-season drills. “They have impressive athletes,” Neal says. “They combine athleticism with size.”

TV SHOW
Hooten's Arkansas Football airs 10:30 a.m. Saturdays on KATV (ABC Little Rock) Channel 7, covering the Razorbacks, high school teams and players to watch. Fountain Lake quarterback Stephen Turner receives the prestigious Arkansas Air Guard Scholar Athlete of the Week award on this Saturday's show.
LAST YEAR
Hootens.com predicted 278 of 323 games (86 percent).

WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by point spread)
1-4A
PEA RIDGE (8) vs. Hamburg: Hootens.com Class 4A Game of the Week.
Gravette at OZARK (4): Gravette expects to dress 36 players this year, compared to 52 last season. Ozark junior QB Dawson Dietz passed for 1,187 yards and ran for 495 yards last season.
BERRYVILLE (28) at Decatur: Berryville gives first-year coach Doug Shott a quick victory. The Bobcats have beaten Decatur three straight seasons by a combined 129-25.
Lavaca at GENTRY (1): Lavaca has won nine of its past 11 non conference games, including last year's four-point decision over Gentry. Gentry QB Jon Faulkenberry threw 25 TDs a year ago.
HUNTSVILLE (18) at Green Forest: Huntsville has 18 wins since 2011, with seven of them against Class 3A Elkins and Green Forest. The Eagles shutout Green Forest 28-0 in last year's opener. Huntsville junior Sean McCone played worked well in the summer.
Lincoln at WESTVILLE, OKLA. (21): Westville has beaten Lincoln by 63 points the past two seasons. Former Lincoln assistant Tyler Dorton debuts as Westville's coach.
PRAIRIE GROVE (6) at Farmington: Farmington has won six of the past 11 in the series. Prairie Grove has 25 wins the past two seasons. Senior tight end Demarkus Cooper played well in the summer, and could line up at receiver and wingback this season.
Elkins at SHILOH CHRISTIAN (10): Shiloh Christian aims for its first conference title since 2010. Running back/receiver Jaret Russ and receiver Jake Nelson played well in summer seven-on-seven competitions. Elkins has 11 seniors this year, after having 17 a year ago.
PEA RIDGE (4) at Booneville: Pea Ridge plays its second game in five days. This is the second meeting between these teams, with Pea Ridge winning by 19 points last fall. Improved Booneville has just seven seniors, but a stable of solid juniors, including QB Brandon Ulmer and fullback Carson Ray (five TDs in 2016). Booneville's Marcus Nichols enjoyed a good summer at guard after starting at tight end last year. The Bearcats have 694 varsity wins in program history.

2-4A
Baptist Prep vs. MCGEHEE (14) (Mon.): Baptist Prep has 12 straight losses since beating Ozark Week 9, 2015. Junior lineman Seth Lybrand enjoyed a solid spring and summer for Baptist Prep, coach Morgan Cruce says.
CAC (9) vs. Mayflower (Tue.): CAC plans to mix the spread offense with the Wing T this fall. Mustang senior Kamryn Vick ran for 645 yards a year ago.
Arkadelphia at STUTTGART (4): A battle of top 10 teams. Stuttgart junior Tim Johnson played well at QB in the summer after shifting from receiver. Arkadelphia sophomore QB Cannon Turner and junior running back Zion Hatley played well in seven-on-seven competitions. Turner passed for more than 1,500 yards a year ago, while Hatley ran for more than 1,100 yards.
Clinton at HEBER SPRINGS (2): These are former conference rivals. Heber Springs senior QB Brandon Loethan passed for 1,778 yards and 17 TDs a year ago, and senior end Chris Hart emerged as a defensive leader in the off-season.
LONOKE (10) at Carlisle: Lonoke promoted interim Taggart Moore to head coach in the spring. Moore led the Jackrabbits to a 1-5 record after taking over late last year. Lonoke running backs Xavier Hodge and Mike Hodges combined for 1,315 yards and eight TDs a year ago.
DeWitt at RIVERVIEW (10): Riverview downed DeWitt by 19 points last season, and the Raiders return all-conference QB Griffin Miller (10 TD runs in 2016) and running back Dondre Spears (293 yards last year). DeWitt expects more than 50 players this fall, and the Dragons spent the summer learning the Spread offense with sophomore QB Seth Courtney.
Cave City at SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE (3): Southside Batesville has won three of the past five in the series, including 19-12 last season, which spurred an eight-win campaign and the first playoff win in school history. Junior safety Caden Huskey made 127 tackles and seven interceptions a year ago. Former Yellville-Summit coach Tommy Britt takes over at Cave City. The Cavemen have 18 wins over the past seven years.
West Helena at EARLE (1): Earle led the Cougars until the final minutes of last year's four-point loss, when the two teams combined for more than 300 penalty yards. West Helena senior Terrance Calhoun ran for more than 1,300 yards a year ago.

3-4A
Cave City at SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE (3): Southside Batesville has won three of the past five in the series, including 19-12 last season, which spurred an eight-win campaign and the first playoff win in school history. Junior safety Caden Huskey made 127 tackles and seven interceptions a year ago. Former Yellville-Summit coach Tommy Britt takes over at Cave City. The Cavemen have 18 wins over the past seven years.
CROSS COUNTY (14) at Harrisburg: Harrisburg hasn't beaten Cross County since 2011, and lost the past two in the series by a total of 61 points. Hornet first-year coach Aaron Thornton inherits a program that won eighth games the past five years.
BROOKLAND (3) at Cedar Ridge: Brookland beat Cedar Ridge by 11 points last season, and the Bearcat junior high won seven games. Brookland hired former head coach Keith Davis (Harrisburg) as an assistant in the summer. Cedar Ridge should improve after junior receiver/linebacker Bryce Brokaw (6-3, 185) moved from Batesville in the summer.
GOSNELL (7) at Newport: Gosnell played well against Paragould's spread in a preseason scrimmage. Gosnell dual-threat QB Brandon Partee (1,347 total yards, 20 TDs) played well in the summer, along with senior lineman Levi Ketchum (5-9, 230). Newport dismissed seven expected starters from the team in the spring. Greyhound junior QB Cash Forrester and senior linebacker Oshae Pruitt enjoyed a good summer.
Highland at HARDING ACADEMY (6): An expected four-year starting lineman quit at Highland in the May. But junior QB Tristan Hudson and receiver Samuel Stowers (seven TD catches in 2016) played well in summer, while senior Bryce Ingram emerged as the defensive leader. Highland could start six sophomores.
Manila at JONESBORO WESTSIDE (2): Manila has beaten Jonesboro Westside the past two seasons by a combined 33 points. Jonesboro Westside hired former Cross County coach Bert Greenwell as an assistant in the summer. The Warriors return starters at 14 positions this fall, including senior tackle Ian Mitchell (6-3, 260).
Pocahontas at NETTLETON (7): Pocahontas' improved team speed surprised opponents in the summer. Two-way lineman Jake Hardage (6-6, 339) dominates opponents and owns an SEC offer from Mississippi State. Nettleton QB Deondre Henry passed for more than 1,300 yards last season.
Hoxie at TRUMANN (14): Trumann's 34-0 opening win last year over Hoxie fueled a seven-win campaign. Wildcat senior Cade Gartman ran for 1,677 yards and 23 TDs in 2016. Hoxie should improve after winning just two games a year ago.

4-4A
CHARLESTON (3) at Dardanelle (Tue.): Charleston receiver/QB Sean Michael Flanagan “catches everything,” an opposing coach says. Flanagan, an Arkansas Razorback commit, scored 31 TDs last fall.
PEA RIDGE (4) at Booneville: Pea Ridge plays its second game in five days. This is the second meeting between these teams, with Pea Ridge winning by 19 points last fall. Improved Booneville has just seven seniors, but a stable of solid juniors, including QB Brandon Ulmer and fullback Carson Ray (five TDs in 2016). Booneville's Marcus Nichols enjoyed a good summer at guard after starting at tight end last year. The Bearcats have 694 varsity wins in program history.
ATKINS (2) at Dover: Dover won 23 games the past three years, but the rebuilding Pirates could start sophomores at seven spots this fall. Atkins junior receiver Trey Davis caught 28 passes last season.
Gravette at OZARK (4): Gravette expects to dress 36 players this year, compared to 52 last season. Ozark junior QB Dawson Dietz passed for 1,187 yards and ran for 495 yards last season.
POTTSVILLE (1) at Fountain Lake: Fountain Lake has 15 seniors, and 10 are expected to start. The Cobra's spent the spring and summer learning first-year coach J.D. Plumlee's passing system after running the Wing T for the past decade. Fountain Lake's stunting, blitzing defense features underclassmen at linebacker and in the secondary. Pottsville dresses just 10 seniors, and started six sophomores last year.
Mansfield at WALDRON (7): Waldron snapped a 43-game losing streak last year with a 45-point win over Mansfield. Bulldog QB Trey Williams (778 total yards in 2016) played well in the off-season. Mansfield sophomore QB Ethan Stovall impressed opponents in the summer.
West Fork at GREENLAND (6): Greenland junior Levi Vaughn didn't play last year, but enjoyed a solid summer and could be a leader at linebacker, coach Lee Larkan says. West Fork fullback/linebacker Taylor Poplin (275-pound power clean) played well in the summer.
BRINKLEY (1) at Subiaco Academy: Subiaco Academy gives first-year coach Steven Moore a quick win. Brinkley was in danger of not fielding a team after just seven players reported to practice in early August. But coach Ethan Baker expects 15 to play this year.

7-4A
HS LAKESIDE (7) vs. Joe T. Robinson (Mon.): Joe T. Robinson won the matchup by 23 points last year, but Hot Springs Lakeside returns six starters on offense, including running back Dupree Swanson (1,494 yards and 23 TDs). The Rams employ more runs with fall with speedy junior QB Taylor Gilham. Joe T. Robinson receiver Nathan Page (1,118 yards and 14 TDs in 2016) played well in summer seven-on-seven competitions.
Monticello at ASHDOWN (12): Ashdown lost three games by a total of seven points last season, and the Panthers return starters at 15 spots this fall, including QB Jaden Hill (offer from Missouri) and receiver/safety LaDarrius Bishop (committed to Mississippi State). Monticello's experienced linemen could give Ashdown problems.
Arkadelphia at STUTTGART (4): A battle of top 10 teams. Stuttgart junior Tim Johnson played well at QB in the summer after shifting from receiver. Arkadelphia sophomore QB Cannon Turner and junior running back Zion Hatley played well in seven-on-seven competitions. Turner passed for more than 1,500 yards a year ago, while Hatley ran for more than 1,100 yards.
POTTSVILLE (1) at Fountain Lake: Fountain Lake has 15 seniors, and 10 are expected to start. The Cobra's spent the spring and summer learning first-year coach J.D. Plumlee's passing system after running the Wing T for the past decade. Fountain Lake's stunting, blitzing defense features underclassmen at linebacker and in the secondary. Pottsville dresses just 10 seniors, and started six sophomores last year.
H.G. HASKELL (16) at Bauxite: Harmony Grove Haskell Coach Paul Calley says the Cardinals must clean up some areas after struggling in some summer competitions. But the Cardinals clobbered Bauxite by 32 points last fall. Bauxite plans to use the Dead T this fall. The Miners have lost 12 straight games since beating Waldron by seven points Week 8, 2015.
Glen Rose at MALVERN (1): Glen Rose's expected QB was injured in the spring and won't play. Malvern QB Demias Jimerson (2,500 yards in 2016) is one of the state's top athletes.
De Queen at MENA (7): De Queen has won two straight in the series, including last year's four-point decision. The Leopards promoted assistant Stephen Sloan in the spring. Mena expects to dress more than 50 players, headlined by two-time all-conference running back Justin Dean (2,150 total yards and 25 TDs in 2016).
Hope at NASHVILLE (21): Nashville has won 10 of the past 11 against Hope, and the Scrappers dominated the Bobcats by 47 points a year ago. But Nashville has just seven seniors, including QB Tyler Hanson (2,551 yards in 2016) and running back Trent Harris (928 yards and 11 TDs in seven games last year).

8-4A
PEA RIDGE (8) vs. Hamburg: Hootens.com Class 4A Game of the Week.
LR Christian vs. WARREN (6) (Tue.): Defending Class 4A champion Warren faces a brutal non conference schedule with LR Christian, Stuttgart and Watson Chapel. Junior athlete Jmalachi Kinnard switches from receiver to quarterback. LR Christian first-year coach Eric Cohu impressed opposing coaches in the summer with his organization. But the Warriors won just five games lat year and have only 11 seniors.
CROSSETT (1) at Magnolia: Crossett has won three of the past five in the series, but Magnolia escaped with a 14-point triumph a year ago. Magnolia cornerback Malik Dunn moved to Texarkana in the summer.
DeWitt at RIVERVIEW (10): Riverview downed DeWitt by 19 points last season, and the Raiders return all-conference QB Griffin Miller (10 TD runs in 2016) and running back Dondre Spears (293 yards rushing last year). DeWitt expects more than 50 players this fall, and the Dragons spent the summer learning the Spread offense with sophomore QB Seth Courtney.
Monticello at ASHDOWN (12): Ashdown lost three games by a total of seven points last season, and the Panthers return starters at 15 spots this fall, including QB Jaden Hill (offer from Missouri) and receiver/safety LaDarrius Bishop (committed to Mississippi State). Monticello's experienced linemen could give Ashdown problems.
Dollarway at WATSON CHAPEL (28): This game was moved to Watson Chapel because Dollarway's field won't be ready. Watson Chapel has lost 11 of its past 14 games against teams outside the 5A South, but the Wildcats dumped Dollarway by 20 points last fall. Watson Chapel senior QB Jacobi Jackson rejoined the program in the summer after getting dismissed in October.
Dumas at WHITE HALL (3): White Hall snapped an 11-game losing streak last year with its 11-point win at Dumas. The Bulldogs rely on seniors Layne Hartsfield and Kyle Barber as leaders for an experienced defense that gave up 12 points or less in five games last season. Dumas didn't go through any team camps in the summer. “We want to be fresh and chomping to hit someone else,” Coach Max Pennington says.
LR PARKVIEW (1) at Star City: LR Parkview running back Zach Smith (4.37 speed) impressed opponents in summer team camps. First-year coach Brad Bolding installed a 3-4 defense in the spring, after the Patriots gave six TDs or more eight times last year. Star City linemen Jax Gasaway (6-6, 265) and J.C. Masey (5-11, 215) performed well in summer team camps.

Share this article

Have your say

Feel free to take part in the discussion! Please be nice and do not include any abusive comments or spam. All comments are moderated and Hootens.com reserves the right to delete any comment.