NWADG Prep Rally Football Preview


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PREP RALLY: CLASS 3A | 8.20.2023 48 GRAVETTE EYE CLINIC 1008 First Ave SE • Gravette 479-323-7005 PROUD TO SUPPORT GRAVETTE FOOTBALL LAVACA GOLDEN ARROWS 2022 RECORD 6-5 overall, 3-4 3A-1 COACH Mark Headley RETURNING STARTERS 5 offense, 6 defense KEY PLAYERS QB Cutler Winters (Jr., 6-0, 190), WR Jimmy Barron (Sr., 5-10, 160), WR Andrew Johnson (Sr., 5-10, 165), RB/LB Camden Callahan (Sr., 6-0, 165), RB Michael Barwick (Sr., 5-8, 175), C Derek Brown (Sr., 5-11, 190), RB/WR Hunter Israel (Jr., 5-10, 180), RB/ST Jackson Hall (Sr., 5-10, 175), H-Back/ST Zeth Golay (Sr., 5-9, 160), LG Austin Stockdale (Sr., 5-11, 200). NOTABLE Winters took over late in the 2022 season and threw for 520 yards (22-of-37) and seven touchdowns. … Barron and Johnson combined for 13 touchdown receptions in 2022. Johnson, who earned all-conference honors, caught 32 passes for 520 yards and six touchdowns. The physical Barron snagged 20 passes for 210 yards and six touchdowns. He's a tough open-field runner, Headley said. … Lavaca will be riding a five-game losing streak heading into the 2023 campaign. The Golden Arrows opened the '22 season with six straight victories. … Headley is the dean of coaches in the 3A-1. "I've never wanted to coach anywhere but here," says Headley, a 1992 high school graduate. This will be his 27th season at Lavaca. The well-liked coach, who has also coached volleyball, basketball, and baseball, is seven victories shy of 100 for his career. … Barwick will take over at the running back position this season. He isn't shy about contact, the coach said. … Callahan, who missed the final five games with an ankle injury, will supply time at tailback and linebacker. He had 30 stops in limited time last season. QUOTABLE "When I came back over, it was a battle to get them (numbers) back up. It happens sometimes. The main thing that I've seen over the years with numbers is that it not only helps with morale but also with practice. People don't realize that. When you've got 18 players out there, it's hard to run a practice and still be patient and effective. Plus, kids have started to buy in and be part of it — even if they're not the dude. I want to get kids involved because I think it's good for them, whether they're going to be the star or not. I love them all. They're not all going to be stars, but I think it teaches them life lessons." — Headley. SCHEDULE Sept. 1 .......Magazine Oct. 6 ............. West Fork* Sept. 8 .......Horatio Oct. 13 ....... at Greenland* Sept. 15 .....at Mount Ida Oct. 20 ............Mansfield* Sept. 22 .....Cedarville* Oct. 27 ..... *at Booneville* Sept. 29 .....Hackett* Nov. 3 ....... at Charleston* * — Denotes 3A-1 Conference game All kickoffs 7 p.m. unless noted MANSFIELD TIGERS 2022 RECORD: 7-4, 4-3 3A-1 COACH: Whit Overton RETURNING STARTERS 6 offense, 7 defense KEY PLAYERS POS QB Cole Kindle (Sr., 6-3, 215), QB/ WR Jeremy Strozier (Jr., 5-10, 165), LG Turner Wright (Sr., 6-1, 205), OL/DE Trey Vaughan (Sr., 6-2, 205), OLB Andrew Burton (Soph.,6-0, 170), WR Daniel Burton (Jr., 5-9, 150). NOTABLE First-year Mansfield coach Overton likes what he's seen from his new team. Now, it's a matter of making it work. The first-year Tigers' coach is taking over for Tim Cothran following a six-year stint as a Booneville assistant. Overton's over-the-moon to be back at his alma mater (2004 graduate). "It's cliche, but we're focused on us right now," Overton said. "We're not looking too far ahead. We only went to two team camps. We're really working on us." … The Tigers finished 7-4 in 2022, and with some key pieces back, there is reason for optimism. Kindle is the reigning quarterback, though, Overton said, nothing is set in stone. "Cole has looked really good, but we're installing some different things offensively," Overton said. "We're installing some things we did at Booneville. He's (Kindle) bought into what we're doing." … Strozier is another threat to play quarterback, Overton said. … Overton may end up playing a bunch of sophomores, and he's fine with that. Sophomore twins Cadien and Logan Ore, both 220-pounders, will vie for a starting slot with fellow sophomore James Bausley (5-11, 230). Talented Burton and older brother Samuel (a junior) have a nice skill set, the coach said. Samuel led the Tigers with 64 tackles last season. … Multi-talented Trey Vaughan can line up inside or outside, Overton said. Vaughan also had 62 tackles, including nine TFLs during the 2022 season. QUOTABLE "My high school coach (John Mackey) was instrumental in me becoming a coach. But when I graduated, I wasn't mature enough yet for college. I went to UAFS for a semester, and then I went to work. But in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to coach." — Overton on becoming the school's head football coach. SCHEDULE Aug. 25 ......Magazine Oct. 6 ........ at Charleston* Sept. 1 .......Paris Oct. 13 ...........Booneville* Sept. 15 .....at Waldron Oct. 20 ............ at Lavaca* Sept. 22 .....West Fork* Oct. 27 ........at Cedarville* Sept. 29 .....at Greenland* Nov. 3 ................ Hackett* * — Denotes 3A-1 Conference game All kickoffs 7 p.m. unless note PARIS EAGLES 2022 RECORD: 1-8, 1-5 3A-4 COACH: Jeff Weaver RETURNING STARTERS 6 offense, 5 defense KEY PLAYERS POS QB Maddox Watts (Sr., 6-1, 180), OL Connor Yarnell (Sr., 5-10, 230), OL/DL Isaac Whitman (Jr., 6-0, 290), LB Jestin Churchman (Jr., 5-7, 170), RB Ethan Crites (Sr., 5-7, 150), WB Evan Crites (Sr., 5-7, 150), RT Tacoma Hunt (Soph., 6-3, 230), C Carter Cunningham (Jr., 5-10, 270), OL Clay Walker (Jr., 6-0, 230), WR/S Matthew McKibbon (Sr., 6-0, 160). NOTABLE Weaver has endured the best of both worlds since taking over for the Eagles in 2021. Two years ago, the team won 10 games. Last season, after a big senior loss the previous season and one injury after another, the Eagles dropped to 1-8. … Watts returns at quarterback. "Last year we made too many mistakes," Watts said. "That was our one bad weakness. We would get it going for a minute, and then it would go downhill. We have to stay strong and stay on point." … Junior center Cunningham goes by the nickname 'Pork chop.' Along with Cunningham, the Eagles have plenty of size in the trenches. Sophomore Whitman Patton (275 pounds) and Tacoma Hunt (270) have plenty of size. … Versatile Churchman, the team's starting linebacker, has the potential to step in at quarterback. … The Eagles, who play two 3A-1 foes in nonconference (Mansfield and West Fork), are 13-7 in the 3A-4 since moving from the 3A-1 to the 3A-4 in 2020. QUOTABLE "There's just something special about coaching at a place wherever you really get to know the kids. At other places, it's just not the same. These people here care about each other; they know everyone's families." — Jeff Weaver SCHEDULE Aug. 25 ......Waldron Oct. 6 ......... at Jessieville* Sept. 1 .......at Mansfield. Oct. 13 ..........Two Rivers* Sept. 8 .......West Fork Oct. 20 .........Centerpoint* Sept. 22 .....at at Glen Rose* Oct. 27 ...at Magnet Cove* Sept. 29 .....Bismarck* Nov. 3 ................Danville* * — Denotes 3A-4 Conference game All kickoffs 7 p.m. unless noted WEST FORK TIGERS 2022 RECORD: 5-5, 2-5 3A-1 COACH: Rodney Selph RETURNING STARTERS 5 offense, 5 defense KEY PLAYERS POS QB Cooper Ridenoure (Soph., 5-10, 185), FB Harrison Oliver (Sr., 6-2, 210), LT/DE Connor Allen (Sr., 6-1, 250), LG Walter Henson (Sr., 6-0, 260), C Evan Ruiz (Jr. 5-10, 260), HB/QB Bryson Whitmill (Jr., 6-1, 155), WR Hayden Faubus (Jr., 5-10, 170). NOTABLE Selph is a West Fork Tiger. The 1989 West Fork grad was part of the team's old 1AA conference playoff team that won eight games (8-3) before losing to Ricky May (Charleston's current head coach) in the first round of postseason play. This is Selph's second tenure as the team's head football coach. … Oliver (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) returns at fullback for the Tigers. Oliver missed the final three games of the 2022 season with a knee injury. "He was one of our leading rushers last year," Selph said. "He is coming off knee surgery. (But) he's doing well; he's back to his old form." Oliver also had 74 tackles and four sacks last season. … Selph plans to use the speedy Bryson Whitmill in a number of offensive sets, including halfback, receiver, and quarterback. Whitmill will transition from cornerback to safety. … Sophomore Cooper Ridenoure will take over at quarterback. He has a high football IQ, the coach said. … Junior Robbie Carroll (6-1, 225) had three quarterback sacks in the 2022 season. … West Fork opened the '22 season with three straight wins and was within a play or two of starting 4-0 (lost to Mansfield, 18-14, in week four). QUOTABLE "We have four new coaches. (But) this is the toughest league in the state, I believe. You've got Booneville and Charleston up there. I know Charleston lost a lot, but they're usually really good. After that, there's a lot of people battling for a playoff spot." — Selph SCHEDULE Aug. 25 ......Green Forest Oct. 6 .............. at Lavaca* Sept. 1 .......at Berryville, Okla. Oct. 13 ............Cedarville* Sept. 8 .......at Paris Oct. 20 ........... at Hackett* Sept. 22 .....at Mansfield* Oct. 27 .......... Charleston* Sept. 29 Booneville* Nov. 3 Greenland* * — Denotes 3A-1 Conference game All kickoffs 7 p.m. unless noted CLASS 3A Cutler Winters Andrew Johnson Maddox Watts Connor Yarnell Connor Allen Harrison Oliver

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