NWADG Prep Rally Football Preview


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49 PREP RALLY: CLASS 2A/8-MAN | 8.20.2023 SPRINGDALE 479-756-9337 LINCOLN 479-824-3288 DECATUR 479-752-3399 PRAIRIE GROVE 479-300-2120 ELKINS 479-643-2004 VAN BUREN 479-474-8051 FORT SMITH 479-783-8959 NW FERTILIZER 479-500-2050 OZARK 479-667-3825 WALDRON 479-637-5641 MENA 479-394-3373 POTEAU 918-647-2224 SALLISAW 918-775-5519 GREENWOOD 479-996-4335 BRANCH 479-965-2237 SUBIACO 479-934-4207 SHINE ON Subiaco Academy keeps aiming higher HAROLD MCILVAIN II SPECIAL TO THE NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE SUBIACO — Aer putting together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 12 years, Subiaco Academy isn't satisfied. e Trojans want to push for even more success this year bringing just about every starter back playing 8-man football again this season. "We are aiming high this year," Subiaco Academy coach Adam Creek said. "We aren't just looking for a conference championship. We aren't looking to win just a few games. We are looking for the big game. ese kids have plenty of experience and want to keep pushing to do great things." It all starts at the quarterback position for the Trojans, who bring back two signal callers with experience and a brand new student to the fold. Anthony Gerhig and Brody Koch return and the team will add a transfer in Christopher Monroe. Koch made an impact on both sides of the ball last year and will look to take his game to another level. He rushed for 655 yards and 11 touchdowns last year (7.5 yards per carry) and had 126 tackles with 15 going for a loss. "He is a kid that is hard to tackle running the ball," Creek said. "He runs hard and lowers his shoulder to get through tackles. He is going to fall forward every play. And Brody is our guy on defense. He has a nose for the ball and does a great job back there. He is a sure tackler. I don't know what I'd do without him." e offensive line will be guided by Camarion Raino and Matt Mayeux. Drew Creek returns aer being a key lead blocker last year and was considered the brains of the defense. is will now be the third season for Subiaco Academy playing 8-man football. e switch has brought back success to the program and has revitalized Friday nights for the school again. "We are just competitive now, which is a big step," Adam Creek said. "We might not win every game, but we are in them. at's all I can ask for. You can tell the community has enjoyed it. In 8-man football, there is more scoring and that gives people more chances to cheer." 2A-1 conference e future is now for the Mountainburg Dragons. Aer getting a preview of what the team might look like this season moving up several freshmen during the final game last year, Mountainburg second-year coach Zach Dean is encouraged for the future of the program. Dean saw plenty of things he liked in the 48-20 victory to close out the season strong. Ryan Allen, who steps up to be the starter this year as a sophomore, guided the offense well throwing for more than 200 yards. Levi Pense, another sophomore, impressed in his varsity debut at running back. And wide receiver Shay Pixley transitioned from quarterback, hauling in 211 yards and three touchdowns. "We really liked what we saw in that game," Dean said. "Our conference is tough, but we really like our team this year. Allen has one game of experience, which is better than zero. Even though he is a sophomore, he is by far the leader of our team." When Magazine needed a big play to be made to turn the tide of a game, it was oen made by wide receiver and defensive back Ethan Vasquez. e all-conference senior is ready to make another big impact for the Rattlers this season. "He is one of the guys that we really count on," Magazine coach Ryan Chambers said. "Two of our biggest games of the year were our first conference win and our game against Mountainberg. He ran kickoffs back in both games with the opening kickoff in the Mountainberg game. He can change the game for us in a lot of ways. He has worked really hard and makes a big impact for us on both sides of the ball." Vasquez caught passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns last year while also finishing with a team-high six interceptions. He will be an even bigger part of the offense with Magazine turning to sophomores Keej Vang or Brock Canada to lead the team at quarterback. Kolton McCubbin and Chakong Yang both look to carry the load at the running back position. Yang is a sophomore and has a couple years le, but he is the last of a long lineage of players from the family dating back to when the program won its first ever state title in 2010. Most teams at smaller classifications rely on their upperclassmen. With just two seniors on a roster of about 19 players, that will be the case in a big way for Johnson County Westside this year in Class 2A. "We lost a good group of five seniors we really relied heavily on," Johnson County Westside coach Jeff Stewart said. "is year I have a pair of seniors and a very solid sophomore class becoming juniors. We like the talent we have seen, but we will need to stay healthy to be able to put it together." Justin Haltom and Keylon Bowen lead the team as seniors. ey will play big roles on both sides of the ball. ey will be in the backfield oen with the Rebels running the single wing. Junior wideout Kyle Wahn is an elusive play-making threat for the Rebels and looks to have another strong year aer showing big-play potential a season ago. Levi Gregory (6-7, 275) and Dontay Parker (6-3, 290) bring plenty of size upfront. ETHAN VASQUEZ SCHOOL Magazine POSITION Running back/defensive back CLASS Senior HEIGHT 5-10 WEIGHT 170 TWITTER HANDLE @EthanV2405 THE DIGITS Vasquez caught two touchdowns and had 325 receiving yards. He earned all-conference honors by finishing with a team-high six interceptions in the secondary and returning two kickoffs for scores FAVORITE CLASS math FAVORITE PREGAME MEAL guacamole I LISTEN TO Drake I BINGE WATCH Peaky Blinders I'M TERRIFIED OF spiders I WOULD NEVER, EVER touch a spider I DRIVE a Nissan Titan MY HERO IS Jake from State Farm WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT FOOTBALL IS the way the football is shaped IN 10 YEARS I WILL be regretting everything I did in the past nine years

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