Class 5A - Week 1 - 2015
Class 5A, Week 1, 2015
Copyright Hooten Publishing, Inc.
1. Pulaski Academy
4. Hot Springs
5. LR Christian
6. Camden Fairview
9. Watson Chapel
14. Forrest City
15. HS Lakeside
16. Sylvan Hills
21. LR McClellan
23. White Hall
24. De Queen
25. Valley View
27. Greene County Tech
30. LR Fair
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 9 Watson Chapel at No. 2 Batesville
Batesville, the only team to play in the Class 5A semifinals the past five seasons, expects to dress a school-record 82 players in the opener. The Pioneers finished as state runners-up from 2011-2013 and lost last fall in the semifinals at Pulaski Academy.
Batesville junior Zach Griffin quarterbacked the junior high to a 10-0 record two years ago. Senior center/guard Austin Johnson and tight end Dillon Daniels (6-7, 250) solidify an offensive line that "will be a strength in time," Batesville coach Dave King says. Until the offense gets on track, Batesville relies on Class 5A's stoutest group of defensive linemen and linebackers. "The defensive front is our strength," King says.
Watson Chapel won five consecutive games in the middle of last season and 5A South coaches tabbed them to win the conference in Hooten's Arkansas Football Magazine. Senior all-state running back Tryvarious Cole (665 yards, five TDs) and Treyvion Woods (5.6 yards per carry in 2014) pace the Wildcat offense, while all-state noseguard Decarlo White-Frazier (52 tackles) and end Blake Lagrone (33 tackles, six sacks) anchor the defensive line. "This is the best conditioned team we've had," says Watson Chapel coach Jared Dutton.
Hooten's Arkansas Football TV show airs on KATV (Channel 7) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday's this fall, beginning Sept. 5. HS Lakeside's Josh Morton will be featured as the Arkansas Air Guard Scholar Athlete of the Week.
Hootens.com correctly predicted 169 of 210 games (80 percent) last season.
WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS (favored team in CAPS followed by point spread)
Sylvan Hills vs. VILONIA (3): Vilonia has won three of the past four in the series. Former junior high coach Michael Stout elevated to interim coach on July 5 after Jim Stanley (76-65 record in 11 years) unexpectedly resigned July 1. Almost 70 Eagles drilled during the summer and offensive coordinator John Steward expects to pass the ball more in 2015. Sylvan Hills had almost 80 players complete summer workouts, and coach Jim Withrow believes athletic QB Jordan Washington is a Division I prospect.
Greenbrier vs. BEEBE (1): Greenbrier has won five straight over Beebe, with the past three by a total of 77 points. Beebe senior running backs Trip Smith and Jovaughn Wyrick combined for more than 3,000 yards last season. Greenbrier senior QB Harold Ross passed for 2,436 yards and 23 TDs last season while splitting snaps.
LR PARKVIEW (12) at Mills: Parkview has won five of the past eight meetings in this series, including 25-0 a year ago. A pair of Patriots committed to D1 schools this summer: Senior DT Kenyon Jackson (Illinois) and senior OT Markell Utsey (Arizona). Parkview alum and former All-Pro tight end Keith Jackson takes over as offensive coordinator. Mills (3-7 in 2014) returned to the Flexbone this spring after a failed one-year experiment in the Spread.
SHERIDAN (8) at LR McClellan: Sheridan all-state senior FB Brockton Brown rushed for 898 yards and nine TDs a year ago, including 67 yards and three scores in a 33-12 win over McClellan. Yellowjacket senior offensive tackle Jacob Atnip committed to Arkansas State in June.
Jacksonville at MAUMELLE (6): Jacksonville second-year coach Barry Hickingbotham expects the Red Devils to contend for the playoffs this fall after they won their final three regular-season games last season. David Farr takes over as Maumelle coach. Farr led Heber Springs to eight wins last fall. Maumelle's offensive linemen impressed Farr in August workouts.
Pulaski Academy at HIGHLAND PARK, TEXAS (1): Highland Park plays in Texas' highest classification. The Scots beat Pulaski Academy by six points a year ago. Pulaski Academy senior receiver Zack Kelley tore his ACL in the summer, but could return later in the season. Last year's leading rusher and a defensive starter transferred in the spring.
SUBIACO ACADEMY (4) at LR Fair: LR Fair hasn't won on the field since Week 1, 2013. Subiaco Academy senior James Wells (almost 200 career tackles) plays linebacker and safety. The Trojans have won just nine games over the past three seasons.
WYNNE (13) at Marion: Wynne has won three of the past five in the series, and it wore out Marion 64-7 last year on the way to a runner-up finish in Class 5A. Yellowjacket junior running backs Jamar Dixon and Melvin Isom combined for almost 2,000 yards a year ago. Marion has won five games over the past three seasons.
SEARCY (23) at Greene Co. Tech: Searcy shut out Greene County Tech 53-0 last year. First-year coach Mark Kelley inherits seven returning starters on defense, including all-state end Jordan Slaughter. GCT returns three-year QB Tyson Bayird, who passed for almost 1,000 yards and 12 TDs a year ago.
WEST MEMPHIS (7) at Forrest City: West Memphis beat the Mustangs by one-point last season, one of Forrest City's four losses by four points or less. Forrest City senior linebacker Demetric Howard made 130 tackles a year ago.
JONESBORO (24) vs. Valley View: Jonesboro torched the Blazers 51-0 a year ago, and the Hurricane have won at least nine games in four of the past six seasons. Valley View second-year coach Sean Cockrell takes over as offensive coordinator (averaged 11 ppg in 2014). Jonesboro coach Randy Coleman launched Valley View's program in 2004.
Watson Chapel at BATESVILLE (7): Hootens.com Class 5A Game of the Week.
BLYTHEVILLE (21) at Osceola: Blytheville beat Class 3A Osceola by 35 points last year before reaching the playoffs for the first time in three years. The Chickasaws return eight starters on defense, including all-state safety Isaac Kelly (90 tackles, 13 interceptions in 2014).
Newport at NETTLETON (3): Newport has beaten Nettleton by a total of 36 points the past two seasons. Former defensive coordinator Mark Hindsley was promoted to head coach in May (third coach in four years), and former Cave City coach Jon Bradley takes over as offensive coordinator. Newport senior tailback Carl Turner has rushed for more than 4,200 yards the past three seasons.
Paragould at RIVERCREST (4): Paragould beat Rivercrest 38-33 last year. Rivercrest all-state senior RB Cecil Langston has rushed for 3,044 yards and 29 TDs in his career.
Watson Chapel at BATESVILLE (7): Hootens.com Clas 5A Game of the Week.
HS Lakeside at LR CENTRAL (14): Tradition-rich Class 7A LR Central won 13 games over the past two seasons. Class 5A HS Lakeside has advanced to the playoffs three of the past five seasons. Ram all-purpose 'back Maurice Bradford ran for 224 yards last season, caught 42 passes for 686 yards and four TDs and played some QB.
White Hall at VAN BUREN (7): Arkansas native Greg Werner (FS Northside class of 1984) takes over at Van Buren after coaching in Oklahoma the past 24 seasons. The Pointers won 10 games over the past four seasons. White Hall auditioned six QBs in summer workouts.
EL DORADO (6) at C. Fairview: El Dorado returns seven starters on offense, including versatile senior Kawon Love and four linemen. Love accounted for all four scores in last year's 28-21 win over Fairview, rushing for 63 yards and two TDs. Fairview graduated every defensive linemen from 2014, and installed a 3-5 scheme in the spring.
Hot Springs at LAKE HAMILTON (4): Hot Springs won the 5A South in 2014 and notched its first playoff victory since 1984. Lake Hamilton senior kicker Ethan Johnson booted a 20-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in last year's 27-26 win at Hot Springs, the first time the team's played since 1999.
DeQueen at MENA (8): Mena finished as state runners-up last season, but six graduated starters signed college scholarships in the winter. Mena seniors D'Wayn Grinder and Jared Flemens form one of the more experienced linebacker duos in Class 4A. Class 5A DeQueen won just three games over the past three years, but the junior high won the conference title in 2014.
Hope at NASHVILLE (7): Nashville has won eight of the past nine in the series. Mike Volarvich debuts as Nashville's coach after assisting at Henderson State the past five seasons. Scrapper senior QB Leonard Snell passed for 2,048 yards and 33 TDs and ran for 790 yards and 10 scores a year ago. Hope defensive end McTelvin Agim (76 tackles and 16 sacks in 2014) owns 19 Division I offers, including Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss and Oklahoma.
Crossett at MAGNOLIA (1): Magnolia snapped Crossett's two-game win streak in the series last fall. Panther senior Nile Cooper (658 yards) and junior Mikosky Jones (200 yards) man the the tailback spot. Crossett senior QB Hunter Welch had more than 2,400 yards last season.
Syvlan Hills vs. VILONIA (3): Vilonia has won three of the past four in the series. Former junior high coach Michael Stout elevated to interim coach on July 5 after Jim Stanley (76-65 record in 11 years) unexpectedly resigned July 1. Almost 70 Eagles drilled during the summer and offensive coordinator John Steward expects to pass the ball more in 2015. Sylvan Hills had almost 80 players complete summer workouts, and coach Jim Withrow believes athletic QB Jordan Washington is a Division I prospect.
Greenbrier vs. BEEBE (1) (Tue): Greenbrier has won five straight over Beebe, with the past three by a total of 77 points. Beebe senior running backs Trip Smith and Jovaughn Wyrick combined for more than 3,000 yards last season. Greenbrier senior QB Harold Ross passed for 2,436 yards and 23 TDs last season while splitting snaps.
RUSSELLVILLE (8) at Morrilton: Russellville has beaten Morrilton eight of the past nine seasons. The Cyclones enter 2015 with an eight-game losing streak and a new head coach (former Nashville coach Billy Dawson).
HARRISON (18) at Mountain Home: Harrison has won six of the past nine in the series. Joel Wells takes over at Harrison (Goblin's third coach in five years) after coaching the past 24 seasons in Missouri. Wells implemented a multiple/balanced offense in the spring after the Goblins ran a pass-heavy pass scheme the past four seasons. Mountain Home has lost 30 games in a row since defeating Harrison 49-34 in 2012.
Jacksonville at MAUMELLE (6): Jacksonville second-year coach Barry Hickingbotham expects the Red Devils to contend for the playoffs this fall. The Red Devils won their final three regular-season games last fall. David Farr takes over as Maumelle coach. Farr led Heber Springs to eight wins last fall. Maumelle's offensive linemen impressed Farr in August workouts.
PRAIRIE GROVE (1) at Farmington: Prairie Grove chases its third conference title in the past four seasons. Tiger senior tight end Dylan Soehner (6-7, 275) owns scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Illinois, Louisiana Tech and Memphis. Farmington senior QB Brice Waggle (more than 2,000 yards last year) and senior running back Justice Hobbs (more than 900 yards) were All-5A West players last fall.
Clarksville at LAMAR (27): The Battle of Highway 64. Clarksville has won just four games over the past three seasons, while 4-3A favorite Lamar has won 26 games in that span.
Fountain Lake at LR CHRISTIAN (1): Expectations soar on Highway 10. The LR Christian Warriors won six games last fall, and received a boost in the spring when senior QB Kyron Sanders moved from Magnolia. All-state running back Damarea Crockett (1,178 yards and 17 TDs in 2014) committed to Boise State in the summer. Fountain Lake senior Parker Ross ran for 1,651 yards and 23 TDs last fall.