Class 5A Week 0 Rankings, Notes & Picks

Class 5A Week 0 Rankings, Notes & Picks

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Hootens.com Rankings
Class 5A, Week 0, 2019
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.

1. Pulaski Academy
2. Harrison
3. LR McClellan
4. LR Christian
5. Morrilton
6. Wynne
7. Greenbrier
8. LR Parkview
9. Batesville
10. Texarkana
11. Camden Fairview
12. Alma
13. White Hall
14. HS Lakeside
15. Valley View
16. Watson Chapel
17. Nettleton
18. Maumelle
19. Vilonia
20. Magnolia
21. Farmington
22. Forrest City
23. Blytheville
24. Hot Springs
25. Clarksville
26. Beebe
27. Hope
28. Greene County Tech
29. De Queen
20. Paragould
31. Huntsville
32. LR Fair

HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
Class 3A No. 2 Osceola vs. No. 15 Valley View
This is the second game of a doubleheader that starts the 2019 season on Monday at Arkansas State in the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic.
Osceola has beaten Valley View five of the six meetings, with the last being a 20-point blowout in 2011. Osceola advanced to the 2018 Class 3A state title, losing only to rival Rivercrest and undefeated Booneville. Senior receiver Greg Hooks caught 42 passes for 812 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, while senior inside linebacker M.J. Vance (300-pound bench press) rallies the defense. Vance likely plays QB this fall after the returning starter transferred in the summer. 
Valley View won seven games last year and shared its first conference title since moving up to Class 5A in 2014. Senior receivers Connor Watson (363 yards and four TDs in 2018) and Travis Graf (14 yards per catch) are vital for an inexperienced offense, and both start in the secondary, along with senior two-time all-state safety Carter Winters (139 tackles, three interceptions). “We graduated three returning linemen and are breaking in a new quarterback,” Valley View coach Sean Cockrell says. “Osceola is big and fast. They can create some matchup issues.” Hear more from Cockrell HERE.
For more on the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic, click here.


LAST YEAR
Hootens.com correctly predicted 173 of 211 games (82 percent) last season. 

WEEK 0 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS)
5A CENTRAL
Har-Ber at PULASKI ACADEMY (8): Pulaski Academy jumpstarted last season with a dominating 36-point win at Har-Ber, and the top-ranked Bruins have depth and talent at the receiver spots this fall. Senior Jayden Kelley, who ran for 1,351 yards last year season, caught the ball well in the summer after requesting a shift from running back to receiver. Har-Ber should be much improved after last year's 2-8 campaign that included three forfeits.
GREENBRIER (10) at Beebe: Greenbrier has won seven of the past nine in the series, including last year by 15 points. Senior running back Peyton Long (701 yards, seven TDs in 2018) and receivers Brody Johnson (425 yards) and Bryce Mooreheart (143 yards) drive an offense that put up 28 points weekly last fall. Beebe first-year coach Chris Gunter installed a Spread scheme in the spring after the Badgers spent the past 12 years in the Dead T. Senior lineman Maverick Payne emerged as a team leader in the spring.
LR CHRISTIAN (11) at Batesville: These teams split their only two meetings, with Batesville winning by five points in the 2016 quarterfinals and LR Christian winning 37-0 last season on its way to the state title. LR Christian senior running back Kendel Givens (1,884 yards and 22 TDs in 2018) and receiver Chris Hightower (986 yards, 12 TDs) fuel the offense, while junior Corey Platt could develop into one of the better linebackers in the state.
Hear more from LR Christian coach Eric Cohu here.
NASHVILLE (6) vs. Watson Chapel (Tue.): Nashville has won four of the past five in the series, including last year by six points. The Scrappers expect to be better this fall with playmakers on offense. Junior Keyshawn Stewart ran for almost 1,200 yards a year ago and could take more direct snaps this fall. Watson Chapel QB Devin Curry returns for his third season (more than 3,500 yards the past two years). Senior receiver/safety Kevin Compton (290 yards and six TDs in 2018, and 38 tackles) owns offers from UT-Martin and Northeastern Louisiana. 

5A EAST
Osceola vs. VALLEY VIEW (1): See Hootens.com Class 5A Game of the Week above.
Greene Co. Tech vs. JONESBORO WESTSIDE (2) (Mon.):
These teams kickoff the season at 5:30 p.m., on Mon., Aug. 26 at Arkansas State University. Greene County Tech beat the Warriors 53-52 last season. Jonesboro Westside expects the best season in school history with starters returning at 16 positions, including senior running back Logan McPherson, who ran for 1,149 yards and 18 TDs a year ago.
For more information on the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic, go here.

Blytheville at MARION (17): Marion beat the Chickasaws by two points last year, and junior QB Daedrick Cail (2,336 yards and 24 TDs in 2018) could be one of the state's top 2021 recruits. Blytheville running back Jeremel Woods (1,600 yards in 2018), offensive guard Tyler Anderson and safety Willie Bell (five interceptions) are senior team captains. 
LR CHRISTIAN (11) at Batesville: These teams split their only two meetings, with Batesville winning by five points in the 2016 quarterfinals and LR Christian winning 37-0 last season on its way to the state title. LR Christian senior running back Kendel Givens (1,884 yards and 22 TDs in 2018) and receiver Chris Hightower (986 yards, 12 TDs) fuel the offense, while junior Corey Platt could develop into one of the better linebackers in the state.
Forrest City at STAR CITY (3): Star City's linemen impressed opposing coaches during summer workouts. Senior Kurt Conner (6-0, 235) and junior Kristion Everrett (6-2, 270) both play guard and tackle. Forrest City must find a successor for graduated three-year QB Randal Moore (1,429 yards in 2018). Mustang junior linebacker Marco Avant (67 tackles) owns multiple DI offers, including Memphis and Southern Miss. 
NETTLETON (10) at Gosnell: Gosnell has almost 40 players on its roster after struggling with low numbers the past two seasons. First-year coach Lewis Earnest, a former Wynne assistant, plans to open the offense and pass the ball more after the Pirates ran the Wing T and Double Wing the past two decades. Nettleton returns just two defensive starters who helped them hold seven opponents to two TDs or less last season. 

5A SOUTH
Magnolia vs. WARREN (4): Hootens.com Class 4A Game of the Week. Mark King takes over at Magnolia after leading Foreman to the 2017 Class 2A state title and the 7-2A conference title in 2018. The Panthers dress 45 players and should improve in the first year of the Flexbone as the year progresses. Warren builds around all-state running back Vincent Steppes (1,500 yards in 2018), while Tre'Lon Marshall and Davante Smith could have breakthrough seasons at receiver.
For more information on the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blueshield Kickoff Classic, go here.
Hear more from Magnolia coach Mark King here
Dollarway vs. LR MCCLELLAN (28): LR McClellan's linemen impressed opposing coaches during summer team camps, while the receivers caught the ball well. Junior Jordan Harris plays QB and last year earned all-league honors at linebacker with 82 tackles. Dollarway won three games a year ago, but should improve with junior running back Cameron Henderson.
TEXARKANA (2) at Liberty-Eylau, Texas: Texarkana reloads after winning 10 games a year ago. Senior Sean Foreback started every game in 2018 at QB, but he's been pushed by junior Braylon Bishop, a transfer from Ashdown. Liberty-Eylau's roster is comparable to Texarkana, and the Leopards get plays from senior running back/slot receiver Shannon Roy, who averaged almost 9 yards per touch last year.
DeQueen at MENA (4): De Queen has won 11 of the past 19 in the series, but Mena has won two straight by a combined 49 points. Former Mena coach Tim Harper resigned in June after leading the Bearcats to 37 wins the past six years. First-year coach Craig Bentley, a former Mena defensive coordinator, led Class 3A Mansfield to eight wins last season. Mena junior tight end Mason Brotherton (6-4, 235) owns multiple scholarship offers. De Queen's only win in 2018 came in overtime at Hope. The Leopards build around senior RB Marquez Ester, who ran for 753 yards and six TDs in 2018.

5A WEST
Morrilton at SEARCY (6): Searcy has won 10 of the 16 in the series, and scored a total of 96 points the past two years against the Devil Dogs. Morrilton dresses 48 players, including senior QB Jacolby Criswell, who committed to North Carolina. Criswell missed last year's opener with a knee injury. Searcy receiver Marion Crockett (6-4, 190) moved into the district in the summer and immediately made plays in team camps.
GREENBRIER (10) at Beebe: Greenbrier has won seven of the past nine in the series. The Panthers, including last year by 15 points. Senior running back Peyton Long (701 yards, seven TDs in 2018) and receivers Brody Johnson (425 yards) and Bryce Mooreheart (143 yards) drive an offense that put up 28 points weekly last fall. Beebe first-year coach Chris Gunter installed a Spread scheme in the spring after the Badgers spent the past 12 years in the Dead T. Senior lineman Maverick Payne emerged as a team leader in the spring.
BOONEVILLE (6) at Clarksville: Booneville suspended six starters (five of them two-way) for this game, and veteran coach Scott Hyatt plans to showcase younger talent. Clarksville returns 17 starters, including two-time all-state QB Nicholas Buckner, who will play more running back and receiver this fall with his brother, sophomore Bryce Buckner, taking most of the snaps. Senior tackle Michael Powell (6-4, 305) could emerge as a college prospect.
HARRISON (8) at Pea Ridge: Pea Ridge was blown out last year at Harrison by 31 points. Expect a much closer game this season. The Blackhawks had 76 players complete fall camp with “a remarkable level of intensity and work ethic,” Coach Stephen Neal says. All-1-4A running back Sam Beard ran for more than 1,300 yards last year but missed the summer while in Georgia completing basic training. Harrison has 61 players, including 16 returning starters, after winning 12 games last year and advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 1999.

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