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UAMS and Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway have teamed up to provide complete orthopaedic services at UAMS Baptist Health Orthopaedic Clinic-Conway.

The expertise of the state’s largest

The care team at UAMS Baptist Health

fellowship-trained orthopaedic team is

Orthopaedic Clinic-Conway will be staffed

combining with the state’s largest, most

by both UAMS and Baptist Health Medical

comprehensive care network.

Center-Conway providers: Shahryar Ahmadi, M.D.

The clinic will offer advanced surgeries and

C. Lowry Barnes, M.D.

treatments, such as:

Paul K. Edwards, M.D.

Hip & Knee

Kathryn L. Nance, M.D.


Lawrence O’Malley, M.D.

Shoulder & Elbow

Sam Overley, M.D.


Theresa Wyrick-Glover, M.D.

Sports Injuries

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT 625 United Drive, Suite 350

(501) 358-6792


To learn about opportunities for your child at South Conway County School District, please visit our website or contact the district office.

South Conway County School District 100 Baramore Street Morrilton, Arkansas 72110 501-354-9400 • Football 2019 | 3

501 Football Publishers

Donna Spears Sonja J. Keith


Sonja J. Keith

Art Director

Nick Walker

Associate Editor

Levi Gilbert

Photo Director

Mike Kemp


Bill Patterson

Distribution Manager

Tom Keith

Office Manager

Tracey Wilkinson

To subscribe or order back issues of 501 LIFE, visit The subscription rate is $20 for one year (12 issues). 501 Advertising and Publishing 701 Chestnut St. Conway, Ark. 72032 501.327.1501

Welcome to 501 FOOTBALL Welcome to 501 FOOTBALL, a special publication of 501 LIFE that celebrates football in Central Arkansas and offers a preview of football teams in Conway, Faulkner and White counties. Our talented writers and photographers have put together some wonderful features you won’t want to miss in the pages that follow and on our website – 501lifemag. com. (Every effort is made to feature as many teams as possible in our print edition, but space limitations may require

that some content appear only on the website.) This year, we are proud to present our ninth 501 Football Team. Nominated by their coaches, these players are extra special because of their character, willingness to help others and their outstanding sportsmanship. (501 LIFE would like to thank Conway Christian High School for providing the location for this year’s team photo.) We also recognize the important role that cheerleaders, dance teams and bands play during football season. We join the hundreds of fans, parents, coaches, players and others who are excited about the upcoming season – good luck! We’re ready for some football!

On the cover

This year’s cover features a member of the 501 Football Team from the three counties — Conway, Faulkner and White — that are featured in this year’s print edition: Steven Rector (Morrilton), Reed Hughes (Conway) and Branden Benson (Searcy). (Mike Kemp photos)

Features 6 Program — Meet the 2019 edition of the 501 Football Team

8 Player nominations — 501 FOOTBALL (an annual issue) and 501 LIFE (a monthly magazine) are published by 501 Advertising and Publishing (located at 701 Chestnut St., Conway, Ark. 72032, 501.327.1501). The contents are copyrighted and materials presented may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publishers. Articles should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Products and services advertised are not necessarily endorsed by 501 FOOTBALL. 501 FOOTBALL is produced on recycled paper.

High school coaches throughout the 501 nominated players for the 501 Football Team

12 Conway County — Morrilton

14 Faulkner Co. — Conway

Special thanks! 501 LIFE would like to thank this year’s sponsors for the 501 Football Team: Conway Orthopaedics andbSports Medicine, Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank.

18 Faulkner County — Conway Christian

Fans across the 501 are ready for football season! (Justin King photo)

20 Faulkner County —

26 Faulkner County —


24 Faulkner County — Vilonia

4 | 501 LIFE Football 2019


27 White County — Searcy, Bald Knob

28 White County — Beebe, Harding Academy and Rose Bud

29 White County — Riverview

32 College — UCA


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Football 2019 | 5


Weston Amos Clinton

Brett Barbaree Fountain Lake

Ryan Barnard Greenbrier

Branden Benson Searcy

Brandon Bishop Central Arkansas Christian

Dylan Briggs Vilonia

Brock Duncan Cutter Morning Star

Parker Golden Harding Academy

Brick Gore Maumelle

Jake Harmon Magnet Cove

Devin Hill Hot Springs

Alex Holland Beebe

Reed Hughes Conway

Dallas Lewis Malvern

Adam Martin Heber Springs

Tayshun Mattison Mayflower

William Newton Haskell Harmony Grove

Braden Qualls Lake Hamilton

Ricardo Rangel Bigelow

Steven Rector Morrilton

Brendan Roberts Bald Knob

Spencer Sipes Quitman

Reid Standridge Perryville

Beau Stevenson Conway Christian

Graham Turner Cabot

Kadin Walker Bismarck

6 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

501 Football Team 2019 named The 501 LIFE staff is excited to announce the members of the 2019 edition of the 501 Football Team. The team features 27 student-athletes — the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the field. Every county in the 501 is represented. Sponsors for this year’s 501 Football Team are Conway Regional Health System, First Security Bank and Conway Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center. 2019 team members include: Weston Amos (Clinton), Brett Barbaree (Fountain Lake), Ryan Barnard (Greenbrier), Branden Benson (Searcy), Brandon Bishop (Central Arkansas Christian), Mason Brazeal (England), Dylan Briggs (Vilonia), Brock Duncan (Cutter Morning Star), Parker Golden (Harding Academy), Brick Gore (Maumelle), Jake Harmon (Magnet Cove), Devin Hill (Hot Springs), Alex Holland (Beebe), Reed Hughes (Conway), Dallas Lewis (Malvern), Adam Martin (Heber Springs), Tayshun Mattison (Mayflower), William Newton (Haskell Harmony Grove), Braden Qualls (Lake Hamilton), Ricardo Rangel (Bigelow), Steven Rector (Morrilton), Brendan Roberts (Bald Knob), Spencer Sipes (Quitman), Reid Standridge (Perryville), Beau Stevenson (Conway Christian), Graham Turner (Cabot) and Kadin Walker (Bismarck). Players were nominated by their respective coaches and selected by the 501 LIFE staff. Nominations were weighted equally between on- and off-the-field attributes. The team recently met at Conway Christian School’s field for a photo shoot. In addition to being recognized in this year’s edition of 501 LIFE’s football preview issue, 501 Football 2019, each player will be featured individually throughout the fall online at and in 501 Sports Extra, 501’s

Conway Regional Comprehensive Sports Outreach Program Physician Partners

Tom Roberts, MD Medical Director Orthopaedics

Grant Bennett, MD Orthopaedics

sports e-newsletter. (To sign up, visit or email info@501lifemag. com.) Player features will begin publishing weekly online and in 501 Sports Extra starting in mid-August before the kickoff of the 2019 high school football season.

Helping You Get Back in the Game Conway Regional has partnered with local physicians to create the Conway Regional Comprehensive Sports Outreach

Tim Freyaldenhoven, MD Neurology

Thad Hardin, MD Family Practice

James Howell, MD Orthopaedics

Greg Kendrick, MD Hospitalist

Program — providing on-site athletic training, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. From the sidelines during a game to your athlete’s side after

David Naylor, MD Family Practice

Donald Steely, MD Cardiology

Brad Tilley, MD Family Practice

Jason Carruth, MS, MAT, LAT, ATC Supervisor — Athletic Training Services

an injury, our athletic trainers are there when you need them.

Learn more at

Griffin Hawthorne, MAT, ATC Athletic Trainer — Greenbrier High School

Brooke Meins, Jacob Walton-Conner MEd, LAT, ATC MS, LAT, ATC Athletic Trainer — Athletic Trainer — Conway High School Conway High School

Anna Rogers, LAT, ATC Athletic Trainer — Conway Christian High School

One Team. One Promise.

Football 2019 | 7


Branden Benson

Brock Duncan

Classification: Sr. Position: QB On the field: Great leader; ultimate competitor. Off the field: Great student; treats others with respect. Sportsmanship: Ultimate competitor but always plays within the rules. Shows respect to opposing teams and officials. Classroom: On student council; Beta Club; Boys State. Expectations: To compete to the highest level on the field. Last season: 821 passing yards, 13 touchdowns; 77 carries for 600 yards. Additional info: State champion in 400m.

Classification: Sr. Position: OLB/DE On the field: Branden Benson is a physical, aggressive linebacker. Off the field: Works hard in the classroom; always respectful and willing to learn from his coaches and teachers. Works hard to be a role model to the younger grade levels of football players. Always willing to help others. Expectations: Benson will be a physical, aggressive linebacker for the Searcy defense. He will be a difference maker and a game changer for the Searcy Lions.

Classification: Sr. Position: OL/DE On the field: Brock is a very smart football player (3.2 GPA) and is a player’s coach on the field. Off the field: Believes strongly in his faith and loves to help others. Brock is always taking the extra step to help other students in the classroom and on the field. Brock is a true leader even when not on campus. Expectations: Ready for Brock to take the next step and become All-District and All-County.

Brett Barbaree

Central Arkansas Christian


Fountain Lake

Classification: Sr. Position: TE/DE/Long Snapper On the field: On-field leader, great energy, loves competition and loves the game of football. Off the field: Volunteers for the Special Olympics, United Way, Youth Leadership Council. Classroom: Great student (4.0); respectful to everyone and treats people the right way; helps other students in the classroom who struggle; outstanding teammate, who is always willing to stay late to work with teammates. Expectations: To be an outstanding leader, who will do anything to help his team win.

Ryan Barnard Greenbrier

Classification: Sr. Position: WR/LB On the field: Smart, tough football player. Off the field: Quiet leader; outstanding Christian young man. Sportsmanship: Helps the younger teammates learn. Classroom: Very helpful, considerate to others. Expectations: Be a leader on the field offensively and defensively. Be a leader in the locker room. Last season: All-state player; leading tackler; great blocker on offense and very good receiver. 8 | 501 LIFE Football 2019


Cutter Morning Star

Brandon Bishop

Parker Golden

Classification: Sr. Position: OL On the field: Physical blocker, athletic. Off the field: Great teammate, character. Involved in church and Mustang Missions at school. Sportsmanship: Plays hard, respects his opponents. Classroom: He’s a young man of character who does the right thing. Expectations: All-state caliber with college potential. Last season: Two-way starter. All-conference. Additional info: Just a tremendous young man and a great rep for CAC.

Classification: Sr. Position: DB On the field: I can’t remember a time where Parker had a bad practice. He’s a relentless worker and a great player for our team. Off the field: Parker is incredibly studious. He works hard on his school work and is serious about his education at Harding Academy. Sportsmanship: I’ve seen Parker have a wonderful approach to his opponents. He prepares and respects every team and individual opponent the same, regardless of how good or bad they may be.

Dylan Briggs Vilonia

Classification: Sr. Position: OL On the field: He has a great work ethic and gives great effort at all times. Off the field: He is a selfless person and puts others before himself. Expectations: I expect him to be one of the leaders of our linemen group. With his age and experience, he should be one to fill a much needed leadership role. Additional info: Dylan Briggs is the type of player that every coach wants to have.

Harding Academy

Brick Gore Maumelle

Classification: Sr. Position: TE/OLB On the field: Consistency and durability. Off the field: Intelligent and kind nature. Working youth camps and games; being a role model for our elementary students. Classroom: He carries a 4.0 GPA, yet still has time to help struggling teammates. Additional info: Brick is a model of character on our football team. He is the type of young man I want my son to grow up to be.

Go Teams! Jake Harmon

Reed Hughes

Classification: Sr. Position: TE/DE On the field: Jake plays with tremendous effort. He has a motor that doesn’t stop. He also has an extremely high football IQ. Off the field: He works our summer youth football camp and helps coach one of the pee wee football teams during the fall. Classroom: Jake is one of our academic leaders. Expectations: I expect Jake to be a very valuable asset to us on the field this year.

Classification: Sr. Position: LB On the field: Passionate, football smart, tough. Off the field: Well mannered, high communication skills. Caring Cats (President), Best Buddies, Special Olympics. Sportsmanship: Leads prayers after games. Classroom: Always willing to help others with anything. Expectations: Leadership, play by example for people to follow. Last season: All-state, all-conference, leading tackler, deep snaps. Additional info: 3.83 GPA.

Magnet Cove

Devin Hill Hot Springs

Classification: Sr. Position: DB On the field: The leader of the team as well as a hard worker who wants to win every day! Off the field: One of the best kids you can ever come by. He has a 3.5 GPA. Helps with flag football with the “Y” but also participates in the Good Samaritan. Classroom: He is always willing to help others succeed without wanting the credit. Expectations: All-state and full athletic football scholarship.


Dallas Lewis

Proud to support our home teams!

Roe Henderson

1416 Prince Street Conway, AR 72034 501-327-3888


Classification: Sr. Position: WR On the field: We expect him to be a two-way player for us that contributes every snap. Off the field: He is a role model for the younger athletes in all three sports. Classroom: He has a 3.5 GPA. Expectations: I have created a leadership council and Dallas is a huge part on the council. We are currently changing the culture here and I am leaning on Dallas to help build that firm foundation.

Alex Holland

Adam Martin

Classification: Sr. Position: OL/LB On the field: He communicates and leads with passion and conviction. Off the field: He jumps at the opportunity to serve his school and community. Classroom: He is compassionate on those that need it. He has the heart for his peers and wants what is best for all around him and not just himself. Expectations: I expect him to leave a lasting legacy, showing how to lead and be a great citizen in the community.

Classification: Sr. Position: QB On the field: Adam is our leader on the field and off. He has started every game of his career at quarterback. He is an accurate passer and a hard runner. We ask a lot of our QBs, and he handles it well. Off the field: Adam goes on church mission trips with a group called God Pleasers. Expectations: I expect Adam to be an all-state player this year in our conference.




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Football 2019 | 9

Tayshun Mattison Mayflower

Classification: Sr. Position: ATH On the field: Great athleticism. Off the field: Great work ethic in the classroom and on the field. He is a part of the National Honor Society. Sportsmanship: Quiet, hard worker that does his job and never complains. Classroom: Friendly with all classmates. Expectations: Start on both sides of the ball and be a key contributor. Last season: One of the few juniors who never came off the field.

William Newton

Haskell Harmony Grove

Classification: Sr. Position: RB/LB On the field: Passion and love for the game; composure and mental strength; coachability. Off the field: Work ethic and over all character. Classroom: Pleasant, nice to be around, focuses on what’s going right instead of what is going wrong. Expectations: Looking forward to his leadership and perseverance. Additional info: I have been coaching football for 30 years. Willie has the highest quality of character I have ever coached.

Braden Qualls Lake Hamilton

Classification: Sr. Position: LB On the field: He is great to everybody. Off the field: Does a lot of things with his church. Sportsmanship: Always has a great attitude. Classroom: Wants to help everyone. Expectations: Allconference. Last season: Third leading tackler.

10 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Members of the 501 Football Team: (front, from left) Dallas Lewis (Malvern), Steven Rector (Morrilton), Alex Holland (Beebe), Spencer Sipes (Quitman), William Newton (Haskell Harmony Grove), Braden Qualls (Lake Hamilton); (second) Parker Golden (Harding Academy), Ricardo Rangel (Bigelow), Devin Hill (Hot Springs), Graham Turner (Cabot), Brick Gore (Maumelle), Adam Martin (Heber Springs); (third) Jake Harmon (Magnet Cove), Branden Benson (Searcy), Brock Duncan (Cutter Morning Star), Dylan Briggs (Vilonia), Brendan Roberts (Bald Knob), Brett Barbaree (Fountain Lake); (back) Tayshun Mattison (Mayflower), Kadin Walker (Bismarck), Reed Hughes (Conway), Brandon Bishop (Central Arkansas Christian), Ryan Barnard (Greenbrier) and Beau Stevenson (Conway Christian). Not pictured: Weston Amos (Clinton), Mason Brazeal (England) and Reid Standridge (Perryville). (501 LIFE would like to thank Conway Christian School for use of its football facilities for this year’s team photo shoot.) (Mike Kemp photos)

Ricardo Rangel Bigelow

Classification: Sr. Position: DB On the field: Ricardo is a loyal, humble young man with a great work ethic on and off the field. Off the field: Ricardo is bilingual and an active member of St. Joe Catholic Church. He plays the guitar and the accordion.

Steven Rector Morrilton

Classification: Sr. Position: DL On the field: Attitude and effort. Off the field: Great sense of humor. Good with younger kids. Sportsmanship: Plays with good effort and promotes competition daily. Classroom: He is always positive toward other students. Expectations: Best defensive lineman in the 5A West. Last season: Started and never came off the field; very dependable.

Brendan Roberts Bald Knob

Classification: Sr. Position: K On the field: Brendan is a leader both on and off the field. Off the field: Willingness to help with anything associ-

ated with our school. He is in numerous school clubs including Beta, student council, FCA, Spanish Club, FCCLA and Yearbook. Brendan is a four sport athlete (cross country, golf, football and track). Classroom: Brendan holds a 4.0 GPA and has helped tutor some of his math classmates.

Spencer Sipes


Classification: Sr. Position: RB On the field: Powerful, downhill running back, who finishes every carry falling forward. Off the field: He understands that what he represents on the field is bigger than him. Sportsmanship: He’s very competitive but a level-headed player. Classroom: He’s a leader, but not in the vocal sense. He is a leader by example. Expectations: He should be a 1,000-yard rusher.

Reid Standridge Perryville

Classification: Sr.

Position: QB/OLB On the field: Reid has a tremendous work ethic and is extremely competitive. Sportsmanship: He is a source of encouragement and leadership, while also willing to get on guys when the situation calls for it. Expectations: Reid will be an All-Conference player for the third consecutive year. He will have opportunities to continue play on the next level.

Beau Stevenson Conway Christian

Classification: Sr. Position: OL/DL On the field: Maximum effort, consistency, great leadership. Off the field: He is very humble. Involved in all aspects of student life. Sportsmanship: Beau is a great competitor who plays with passion, respect for opponents and humility. Expectations: Beau will be called upon to anchor the offensive and defensive lines.

Graham Turner Cabot

Classification: Sr. Position: RB On the field: Team leader who leads by example and gives maximum effort. Off the field: Excellent student who is well respected by his teachers and peers. Attends community events and volunteers his time to help others. Sportsmanship: Displays sportsmanship on and off the field of play. Classroom: Hard worker who strives to achieve his best in the classroom and is a friend to all.

Kadin Walker Bismarck

Classification: Sr. Position: OL/DE On the field: Leadership; 100 percent effort on every play. Off the field: Good student; exemplary behavior; helps motivate younger players. Expectations: He will be one of our leading tacklers and my most dominate offensive linemen. Additional info: All around great kid; does well in the classroom, weight room, outside of school and on the field.

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Football 2019 | 11



Fast Facts

Conference 5A West Coach Cody McNabb ’18 Record 8-5 (5-2)

Senior 501 Football Team honoree Steven Rector projects as one of the top defensive linemen in the 5A West. (Robert Garrett photos)

Players to Watch Jacolby Criswell (Sr. QB) Xavier Clemons (Sr. RB/DB) Reggie Toney (Jr. WR/DB) Gustavo Santos (Sr. OL) Steven Rector (Sr. DL)

Must-See Game “Greenbrier at home in Week 5 should be entertaining.” — 501 staff

2019 Schedule Aug. 30 at Searcy Sept. 6 Russellville Sept. 13 at LR Fair Sept. 27 at Harrison Oct. 4 Greenbrier Oct. 11 at Alma Oct. 18 Huntsville Oct. 25 at Vilonia Nov. 1 Farmington Nov. 8 Clarksville

12 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Devil Dogs remain loaded at skill positions The Morrilton Devil Dogs weathered the storm of losing heralded quarterback Jacolby Criswell in the pre-season and finished tied for second in the 5A West. Criswell returned late in the season, spurring the Devil Dogs to the 5A semifinals. Criswell returns this fall. The senior threw for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall, and also rushed for 317 yards and three scores. Xavier Clemons is also back in the backfield. The senior rushed for 1,101 yards and 20 touchdowns in his junior campaign. Juniors Jackson Moll and Tucker Granberry also gained valuable playing time last fall. The Devil Dogs also return their leading receiver — junior Reggie Toney, who hauled in 784 yards and eight scores as a sophomore. Senior Aaron Williams, junior Lamar Wofford and sophomore Quincy Clemons round out the receivers. Seniors Gustavo Santos and Ethan Black and juniors Seth Stephens, Haden Scroggins, Hayden Garrett and Ty Gray serve on the offensive line. Only three starters return on defense. Senior Steven Rector and junior P.J. Bizzell lead the defensive line alongside seniors Matt Wahmund and Spencer Black and junior Charles Muldrew. Junior Cade Halbrook chased down 34 tackles last year at linebacker. Granberry and seniors Keagan Voss and Logan MCulley and junior Caimen Fitzpatrick fill out the linebacker corps. Seniors Marquise Criswell and Chris Mourot, junior Darrius Allison, Clemons, Toney and Wofford stalk the secondary.

Senior quarterback Jacolby Criswell is one of the most dynamic athletes in the state.

The Morrilton High School Spirit Team: Salena Santos (front, from left), Chyler Whorton, Wyleigh Keeton, Maddie Hammack, Kamryn Hogan, Lacey Carroll, Emma Tiner, Shelby Haile, Angeleah Hardiman; Shania Rector (back), Mikayah Holmes, Madison Mourot, Alyssia Dixon, Gracie Dixon, Morgan Simer, Allison Kordsmeier, Abby Tipton, Karleigh Eoff, Austyn Warren and Serenity Huffman. The Morrilton High School Marching Devil Dogs (above and left) are looking forward to a “magical” season. The band will continue to support the Devil Dogs through its spirit at MHS and in the stands each week with unwavering enthusiasm and energy. The halftime theme is “MAGIC. The band will entertain the crowd with modern and classic hits, including Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” and Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.” Drum majors are Wyatt Crow and Evan Freeman. Band directors are Christina Bartlett, Ben Hogan and Jessica Perry.


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Football 2019 | 13



Fast Facts

Conference 7A Central Coach Keith Fimple ’18 Record 9-3 (5-2)

Players to Watch Bryce Bohanon (Jr. RB/WR) Robert Scott (Sr. OL) Korlin McKinney (Sr. DL) Reed Hughes (Sr. LB) Parker Prock (Sr. LB)

Must-See Game “Week 6 versus Cabot — these two schools have a long history with one another and played many, many games with Kenny Smith and Mike Malham on the sidelines that featured fewer than 10 passes total in a game. With Keith Fimple and Scott Reed leading these two teams now, you are liable to see that in a single series. Coach Reed brought his El Dorado team to town to start last season, and it was a double overtime thriller. I think that’s the one to make sure you have a ticket for!” — Matthews

2019 Schedule Aug. 30 at El Dorado Sept. 6 at Bentonville Sept. 13 Jonesboro Sept. 27 Ft. Smith Southside Oct. 4 at North Little Rock Oct. 11 Cabot Oct. 18 at Ft. Smith Northside Oct. 25 Central Nov. 1 at Catholic Nov. 8 Bryant

Senior linebacker Reed Hughes (44) returns as the Wampus Cats’ leading tackler. (Justin King photos)

Wampus Cats battling in a deep 7A Central It was a wild first year in Conway for Keith Fimple. The Wampus Cats gave fans a memorable regular season that included multiple fourth quarter come-from-behind wins and two overtime victories. Conway’s two regular season losses came against the two 7A finalists, North Little Rock and eventual champion Bryant. A comeback attempt was cut short in the 7A quarterfinals at Bentonville West after quarterback JoVoni Johnson was knocked out of the game in the second half, leaving Conway fans with a big “what if.” “Down by seven with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter and Tez Miller recovers a fumble, and Conway has the ball and the momentum when JoVoni takes a hit on a keeper that would be his last high school football snap,” said Jeff Matthews, play-by-play announcer for Conway Corp’s 5 Sports. “The stillness in that stadium is something I won’t forget anytime soon. I have no doubt that Conway ties the game on that possession if it weren’t for that hit. Who knows what would have happened from there? “I know we all would have loved to have played Thanksgiving week again, but when you look at the three losses — the 2017 state champs North Little Rock, the team that would be the 2018 state champs Bryant and on the road at Bentonville West when they were hosting their first playoff game on their schools campus — all in all, it was a successful season.” Senior Nick McCuin takes over at quarterback this fall, bringing a big arm to the Wampus Cat offense. Dynamic junior Bryce Bohanon gives the Wampus Cats a big-play

Cats continued on Page 16 14 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Conway head coach Keith Fimple (right) had a wild first year in 2018, including multiple fourth quarter come-from-behind wins and two overtime victories.

The Conway Wampus Cat Marching Band will present “Summer of Dreams” for its 2019 halftime show. Sporting new uniforms, the band will present music by The Fifth Dimension, The Who, The Turtles, The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane. The band will also provide pep music in the stands. Drum majors are Journee Jones, Tyler Trickey and Indi Minett. Band directors are Robin Ratliff, Paul Taylor and Nathan Cunningham. Lauren Lacy is the color guard coordinator. Matthew Hines is the percussion coordinator and Stephanie Grinder is majorette coordinator.


Just like you.

Just like Wampus Cat athletes, we go all in for Conway. Channel 5/585 has a proud tradition of covering local sports, and we’re excited to continue that legacy with the 2019 Wampus Cat football season. Watch home and road games live Friday nights.

Watch live on Channel 5/585 or streaming at |

Powering Conway since 1929.


(501) 450-6000



Football 2019 | 15

Cats continued from Page 14

Junior Bryce Bohanon is a dynamic offensive threat in both the rushing and passing games.

threat all over the field. Bohanon’s speed is dangerous at both running back and receiver. Senior Luke Bailey is another speedy threat for Conway out of the backfield and in the special teams return game. Senior Jabrian Earl is a punishing running back. Senior receiver Shane Smith recorded three special teams touchdowns a year ago. Juniors Micah Mosby and Cameron Leach add depth at receiver. Conway will boast size and strength at tight end with seniors Slayde Smith and Noah Smith and junior Jayden Williams, who is 6-foot-5. Ole Miss commit Robert Scott leads a senior laden offensive line, which also returns classmates Zaul Vences and Haze Denton. This returning offensive line core helped produce more than 3,000 rushing yards in 2018. Other seniors on the offensive line this fall include Damian Lopez, Jeremiah Parks, Grant Reed, Drake Purnell and Wyatt Toal. Senior kicker Will Hogue was a difference maker last fall, hitting true on 52 of 52 extra points and 11 of 15 field goals. “The offense will look different, and I can see the team offensively relying heavily on Luke Bailey and Bryce Bohanon,” Matthews said. “Luke and Bryce were two of the top four Wampus Cats in terms of all-purpose yards a year ago and are poised to be the focus. Along with Bohanon and Bailey, I expect Nick McCuin to show us a lot. He has plenty of experience and won’t be rattled. Also, watch for

Slayde Smith to have a good year. And don’t forget the offensive line, featuring Haze Denton and Ole Miss commit Robert Scott bookending the line.” Key talent returns throughout the defense. Senior tackle Korlin McKinney anchors the defensive line. McKinney recorded 69 tackles and two sacks last fall. Senior Tony Passalaqua and junior Jaylend McCuien are back after seeing significant time in rotation on the defensive line a year ago. Seniors Terrian Harris, A.J. Jones and Kaleb Ingraham fill out a deep defensive line unit. Seniors Reed Hughes, Parker Prock, Dewayne Smith and J’uan Scaife are explosive playmakers at linebacker. Hughes and Prock each racked up more than 100 tackles a year ago, and Prock was tied for the sack lead with three. Seniors Tommy Grady and Riley White return to lead a secondary chock full of upperclassmen, including seniors Darian Criswell, Jerry Coleman, Christian West, Jayleen Vance, Ethan Hinze, Issac Crow, Derious Hayes and Daniel Kim. “Korlin McKinney, Reed Hughes and Parker Prock are three of my favorite players to watch in the whole time I have been calling these games,” Matthews said. “They are all aggressive, smart leaders. They will dictate how the season goes on defense, I believe. “The 7A Central has enjoyed a slight shift in the balance of power the last two years, and I don’t see a reason that will change. What North Little Rock and Bryant have going right now is pretty special, and Cabot starts the season with a new head coach for the first time in a very long time.”



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16 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Front row left to right: Abigail Robnett (front, from left), Ebony Richmond, Ali Fisher, Ashton Grace Williams, Jessi Hull; Elizabeth Kennedy (second row), Elizabeth Grace Adams, Robert Cheers, Madeline Anderson, Tori Darter; Izzy Bishop (third row), Katie Beth Smith, Hannah Woodall, Riley Harrison, Allison Myers, Madison Maxwell; Kyla Hallman (back), Kaitlin Hobbs, Ava Pearl Harrison, Mackenzie Folds, Kaylee Moeri and Kennedy Smith. Head coach: Cindy Brown. Assistant coach: Sonya Stephens and Jessica Smolsky.

Football 2019 | 17

Conway Christian Fast Facts

Conference 5-2A Coach Justin Kramer ’18 Record 10-3 (7-0)

Players to Watch Beau Stevenson (Sr. OL/DL) Clay Hammett (Sr. RB/LB) Miguel Thorpe (Sr. WR/LB) John Michael Scherrey (Sr. RB/DB) Carson Bradley (Sr. WR/DB)

Must-See Game “At home versus Mountain Pine. Early game with high playoff implications.” — Kramer

2019 Schedule Aug. 30 at McGehee Sept. 6 Spring Hill Sept. 13 Clinton Sept. 27 at Poyen Oct. 4 Mountain Pine Oct. 11 at England Oct. 18 Quitman Oct. 25 Cutter Morning Star Nov. 1 at Magnet Cove Nov. 8 at Bigelow

Senior running back Eli Moore will be part of the Eagles’ two-headed rushing attack this fall. 18 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Senior running back John Michael Scherrey returns at running back. The Eagles will shift more to a run-focused attack this fall. (Dr. Ladd Ellis/Gallery 71 photos)

Eagles strive for three-peat In 2018, the Conway Christian Eagles won a secondstraight 5-2A conference title and finished three points shy of moving to the 2A semifinals. “We had a great year,” Coach Justin Kramer said. “We mercy ruled eight of 11 Class 2A opponents while making it all the way to the quarterfinals. We met several individual and team goals while also playing in a way we felt was a great representation of who we are.” Last year’s offense averaged just under 40 points per game and accumulated nearly 5,000 yards of offense. This year, the Eagle offense will put up production a little differently. Junior Tyler Cossey looks to replace prolific quarterback Jacob Wood. Seniors Eli Moore and John Michael Scherrey will feature more heavily at running back as the Eagles shift more to the ground game this fall. Sophomore Hunter Vickers will see carries, too. Senior Clay Hammett is back at H-back. Seniors Carson Bradley, Miguel Thorpe and Zain Corbett and junior Jeramya Brock feature as the Eagles’ top receivers. Senior

Brooks White and junior Robert Taylor will block and provide receiving threats at tight end. Seniors Lou Kerst and Beau Stevenson return to lead the offensive line. Other linemen include senior Carson Gainey and juniors William Clark, Drew Shillings, Shallum Gill and Perry Horton. Kerst and Stevenson also impress on the other side of the line, alongside junior tackles Jory Fulmer and Boen Brakebill. Thorpe and Hammett return at linebacker. Juniors Jace Kramer and Noah McCall project as starters at the other linebacker spots. Scherrey, Corbett, John Christian Baker and junior Josh Tibbs will lead the secondary. “Offensively, we feel we will look different than in the past, but be equally effective,” Kramer said. “Defensively, this is the second year with Coach Ellen as defensive coordinator, and we feel we will continue to improve and be solid. We have a lot of returning talent and high football IQ players. Our weakness is a lack of game experience. The 5-2A is very balanced and strong. It’s a five- or six-team race.”

Members of the Conway Christian Senior High School Cheer Team: Anna Beth Burrow (from left), Haley Shourd, Emilie Williams, Ariel Duarte, Matti Chambers, Abby Jolliff, Bailey Cooper, Jayla Kramer and McKenzie Thornton. Not pictured Grace Beck and Rachel Mohr. Cheer sponsor: Lesley Lea.

Junior Tyler Cossey takes over at quarterback.

Football 2019 | 19

Greenbrier Fast Facts

Conference 5A West Coach Randy Tribble ’18 Record 7-4 (5-2)

Players to Watch Peyton Long (Sr. RB) Brody Johnson (Sr. WR) Ryan Barnard (Sr. WR/LB) Logan King (Sr. WR/DB) Ashton White (Jr. OL)

Must-See Game “With Vilonia back on the upswing, the annual rivalry closer could hold even more severe implications this year.” — 501 staff

2019 Schedule Aug. 30 at Beebe Sept. 13 Heber Springs Sept. 20 LR Christian Sept. 27 Huntsville Oct. 4 at Morrilton Oct. 11 Farmington Oct. 18 at Harrison Oct. 25 Clarksville Nov. 1 at Alma Nov. 8 at Vilonia

Senior Talon Moore hauled in 379 receiving yards and one touchdown in 2018. 20 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Senior Peyton Long returns as an offensive weapon after rushing for 701 yards and seven touchdowns last fall. (Bill Patterson photos)

Panthers strong at skill positions The Greenbrier Panthers cemented a decade of success last fall with their 10th-straight playoff appearance. With 15 starters back this fall, the Panthers are confident they can take it to 11. Senior Jackson Riddle and sophomore Cooper Wilcox compete for the starting quarterback job. The Panthers’ leading rusher returns. Senior Peyton Long rushed for 701 yards and seven touchdowns last fall. Junior Trey Havens is also back after rushing for 371 yards and six touchdowns as a

sophomore. Senior Luke Smith is added into the mix this year in the backfield. The Panthers have a wealth of riches at receiver for their Spread offense. Six out of seven of last fall’s leading receivers are all back — seniors Brody Johnson (425 yards and two touchdowns), Talon Moore (379 yards and one touchdown), Ryan Barnard (365 yards and seven touch-

Greenbrier continued on Page 23

Junior Trey Havens (23) provides another rushing threat for the Panthers.

Members of the Greenbrier High School Cheer Team: seniors Anna Beth Jeane (front, from left), Anna Claire Newman, Katie Huett, Addison White, Reagan James, Izzy White; juniors Melanie Halfacre (second row) Driana Phillips, Emma Henry; sophomores Chea Miller (back), Taylin Harper, Zoey Clark, J’Laine Tindall, Megan Simpson and Macie Hurley. Not pictured: Brooke Weaver, mascot. The team is under the direction of coaches Heidi Phillips and Micah Edwards.

Football 2019 | 21

The Greenbrier High School Marching Panthers will present “Water is Life� as its competition halftime show. The band started practices on July 19 and will put in eight to 10 hours each week to perfect the show by early November. Drum majors are Sophia Ware and Emily Temple. Color guard captain is Addison Duncan. Band directors are Jennifer Church, Daniel Severs, Scott Strickland and Marcy Wells.

22 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Greenbrier continued from Page 20 downs), Logan King (210 yards and three touchdowns), Bryce Mooreheart (143 yards) and Jaron Kuykendall (120 yards). Senior Avery Thomas and juniors Ashton White and Thomas Shaw return on the offensive line with starting experience. Seniors Brady Stanton, John Hiland and Payton Riddle and juniors Brandon Beck, Caleb Holmes and Logan Hennington round out the offensive line unit. Junior kicker Cody Powell was six of nine on field goals and 36 of 39 on extra points last fall. Senior Jacob Kellar and Beck, Hiland and Riddle project as starters on the defensive line. Barnard is a returning all-state starter at linebacker after putting up 140 tackles as a junior. Moore recorded an interception last year at linebacker, on his way to 43 tackles. Tanner Collins returns after a 50-tackle campaign. Junior J.P. Engelkes also brings back starting experience to the linebacker corps. Siblings Ty and Ryan Embry start on the corners in the secondary. King is the leader of the secondary at free safety after earning all-state honors last fall with five interceptions. Junior Jeremy Hardcastle also returns at the other safety spot.

Junior J.P. Engelkes returns at linebacker. Football 2019 | 23

Vilonia Fast Facts

Conference 5A West Coach Todd Langrell ’18 Record 4-6 (3-4)

Players to Watch Draven Smith (Sr. RB) Nick Lewis (Sr. WR/DB) Tyler Moran (Sr. QB) Jayden Wimberly (Sr. DL) Jake Goff (Sr. LB)

Must-See Game “The Eagles will be much more dangerous this year against rival Greenbrier to close the season.” — 501 staff

2019 Schedule Sept. 6 at LR Christian Sept. 13 Maumelle Sept. 20 at Beebe Sept. 27 Alma Oct. 4 at Huntsville Oct. 11 Harrison Oct. 18 at Farmington Oct. 25 Morrilton Nov. 1 at Clarksville Nov. 8 Greenbrier

Senior Nick Lewis rotates as a receiving threat for the Eagles. 24 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

501 Football Team honoree Dylan Briggs (58) returns to the offensive line for his senior campaign. (Bill Patterson photos)

Eagles more dangerous in 2019 After winning just one game in 2017, the Vilonia Eagles flourished in their first year under the helm of Todd Langrell with four wins and took a very talented Morrilton team to the edge in overtime. Langrell and the Eagles look for even greater strides in year two with 29 seniors leading the way and talented underclassmen ready to step up. Senior Tyler Moran and sophomore Austin Myers challenge each other at quarterback. Senior running back Draven Smith earned all-state honors last fall rushing for 792 yards and 15 touchdowns. Junior Matt Baker and sophomores Hunter McCool and Seth Kirk fill out the backfield. Senior Austin Koonce is Vilonia’s top returning receiver. Koonce hauled in two touchdowns and 303 yards a year ago. Seniors Corbin Watson, Nick Lewis, Hunter Niece, Noah Kasper and David Jones rotate at receiver in Vilonia’s Spread offense. Seniors Dylan Briggs, Corey Clements, Riley Rexroat, Nic Bonnema, Jacob Pearce, Eldon Grissom and Nathan Schwulst and juniors Tristan Bishop and Cesar Fuentes protect and open lanes up front on the offensive line. Junior Noah Newman returns to handle kicking and punting duties. Jayden Wimberly amassed 40 tackles in just five games last fall. The senior defensive lineman joins classmate Logan Loter and junior Carter Archer up front, alongside Watson, Clements and Rexroat. Senior Tyler Chance also rotates on the defensive line. Seniors Jake Goff and Tanner Thompson and juniors Ethan Stout, Luke Trubiano and Parker Beene defend at linebacker. Sophomore Campbell Osier will make

Senior Jake Goff (19) defends the middle at linebacker. an impact at linebacker. Lewis and senior Kyle Vines return on the corners after recording 57 and 49 tackles, respectively, last fall. Junior Aubrey Watt and Jones project as starters at the safety slots. Sophomores Kannon Bartlett and Jamison Hinsley are the top newcomers in the secondary. “With a full year in the weight room with the new coaching staff and the implementation of our offensive and defensive system, we believe that this year we will have a great opportunity to be in the playoffs,” Langrell said. “We’re really looking forward to this season, and the strides I think we’ve made will show. It’s going to be an exciting year of Vilonia football.”

The Vilonia High School Eagle March Band, under the direction of drum majors Makayla Briggs and Riley Harrelson. Flagline: co-captain Claire Brown, co-captain Emily Williams, Kourtney Lane, Chloe Bedwell, Julia Hegwer, Kate Allison, Katie Rogers, Christa Mays and Sadie Bomar. Majorettes: captain Ashlyn Ferren, Hannah Smith, Katelynn Bell and Emily Stehle.

The Vilonia High School Cheer Team: Lydia Grace Outlaw (front, from left), Emma Eastham, Audrey Loyd, Madelyn English, Heidi Aldridge, and Amber Sturtz; Caroline Outlaw (back), Mallory Reeves, Jaden DeLoach, Alissa Gordon, Lexie Rhodes, Haley Cox, Madison Herrington and Coach Lisa Evans. Other cheer coaches: Judy Cox and Morgan Humbard.

Football 2019 | 25

Mayflower Fast Facts

Conference 4-3A Coach Austin Emerson ’18 Record 10-2 (6-1)

Players to Watch

Darren Raney (Sr. OL) Tayshun Mattison (Sr. ATH) Draylen Jones-Smith (So. RB/LB) Nana Taylor (So. DB/RB) J.T. Colvin (Sr. WR/DB)

Eagles young, ‘bought in’ for 2019 The Mayflower Eagles rode their explosive offense to a 10-win season in 2018 behind the efforts of talented twins Deon and Keon Simmons. With a big roster turnover, the Eagles will look different this fall. “We had a great season last year with a lot of seniors,” Coach Austin Emerson said. “Now it is the young guys’ time to step up and try to carry the torch.” Senior Tayshun Mattison moves from receiver to quarterback. Sophomores Draylen Jones-Smith and Nana Taylor step up to be the Eagles’ new dynamic rushing threats. J.T. Colvin, Gabe Morris, Eli Sanders, Jason Uptain and C.J. Bryant rotate at receiver in the Mayflower Spread offense.

Darren Raney, D.J. Earnest, Xavier Credit, Kalvin Jeffery, Randy Spikes and Wyatt Hoops will lead the offensive linemen. Jeffery, Raney, Credit and Darrius Kelly clog the running lanes up front on the defensive line. Earnest, Bryant, Jones-Smith and Trey Penix look to cause trouble at linebacker, and Colvin, Mattison, Morris, Sanders and Jaylen Baker will guard the secondary. “We will be young on both sides of the ball, but I look for us to grow each week and be playing our best football in Week 10,” Emerson said. “We don’t have much depth, but the players we have are bought in.”

Must-See Game “Glen Rose. It’s always a big game. The atmosphere is a fun one to be a part of!” — Emerson

2019 Schedule Aug. 30 at CAC Sept. 13 Marshall Sept. 20 Parkers Chapel Sept. 27 at Danville Oct. 4 Glen Rose Oct. 11 at Two Rivers Oct. 18 Baptist Prep Oct. 25 Atkins Nov. 1 at Perryville Nov. 8 Jessieville

The Mayflower High School Eagle Regiment is growing and hopes to have larger numbers on the field while performing selections from the hit Disney movie “The Lion King.” The band will also be outfitted in new full uniforms. Band director: Justin Berg. Drum majors: senior Sierra Messec and sophomore Kaccie Thompson.

The Mayflower High School Cheerleaders participated in summer camp in Kansas City, Mo. Team members include Zoey Hunt, Chloe Lynn, Katlynn Morris, Winter Passmore, Zaelin Morris, Sierra Messec, Dawn Bailey, Serenity Hite, Julir Rowland, Tarah Bryant, Patricia Chacon, Gabe Morris and Ashton Lester. Not pictured: Allison Chapman and Victoria Schultz. The team is coached by John and Pam Pipkins. 26 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Bald Knob

Searcy Fast Facts

Conference 6A East Coach Mark Kelley ’18 Record 9-3 (5-2)

Players to Watch Bryce Dixon (Sr. QB) Johnson Guthrie (Sr. RB) Dallas Loftis (Sr. WR) Demaceo Whittier (Sr. DL) Hayden Miles (Sr. LB)

Must-See Game “Jonesboro in Week 8 will be a big test for the Lions at home.” — 501 staff

Lions battling in deep 6A East The Searcy Lions have won 19 games the last two seasons and are looking to continue that successful run this fall. Senior Bryce Dixon takes over at quarterback as a speedy dual-threat option. Running back Johnson Guthrie was the Lions’ second-leading rusher last year. The senior racked up 608 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Owen Steward paves the way for Guthrie at fullback. Seniors Dallas Loftis and Griff Love return as the primary receiving threats. Loftis pulled in 739 yards and two scores, and Love had 371 yards and three scores a year ago. Experienced seniors fill the offensive line — Colby Teasley, Shelby Grady and Damone Lockhart. Juniors Kevon Poindexter and Garret Shuckard and seniors Mason Putnam and Garrett Robinson also help up front on the offensive line. Senior Demaceo Whittier returns to the noseguard spot after putting up 38 tackles and six tackles for loss (four

2019 Schedule Aug. 30 Morrilton Sept. 6 at Sheridan Sept. 20 Batesville Sept. 27 at Jacksonville Oct. 4 West Memphis Oct. 11 at Marion Oct. 18 at Pine Bluff Oct. 25 Jonesboro Nov. 1 at Mountain Home Nov. 7 Sylvan Hills sacks) in his junior campaign. Classmates Braden Dodds, Nick Seymore, Brandon Benson and Jaylon Gaines provide depth, size and speed on the interior. Senior Hayden Miles recorded 121 tackles a year ago at linebacker. Senior Sawyer Jackson also returns at linebacker (69 tackles in 2018). Juniors Kylee Parker and Wesley Jackson lead a largely inexperienced secondary. The Searcy High School Marching Lion Band will be led by drum majors Katherine Peters and Madison Peters. Band directors are Tony Luzzi, Josette Cordell and Shane Fudge. The band plans to give great performances to fans, support the community and cheer for the Searcy Lions.

The Searcy High School Cheer Team: manager Kennedy Cook (front, from left), Maggie Pruitt, Grace Sledge, Avery Walker, Maggie Greer, captain Kelsey Qualls, co-captain Addie Woods, Sophia Seger, Kathryn Reardon; McKinley Powell (back), Lexie Rialse, Lindsey Cypert, Ashleigh Simpson, Hannah Garner, Mary Frances Oxner, Mary Grace Parsley and McKenzie Magness. The cheerleader coach is Stacy Cramblett.

Fast Facts

Conference 2-4A Coach Lynn Garner ’18 Record 4-6 (2-5)

Players to Watch Brendan Roberts (Sr. K) Reid Mason (Sr. DL) Josh Clark (Jr. RB/DB) Johnson Capps (Sr. QB/DB) Brayden Capps (Sr. OL)

Must-See Game “Heber Springs is projected near the top of the 2-4A, and should make for an entertaining matchup in Week 7.” — 501 staff

Bulldogs eye playoff return The move up to 4A proved difficult for the Bald Knob Bulldogs, who missed out on the playoffs behind a 4-6 campaign. Lynn Garner, a former Bulldog, takes over as head coach. Seniors Johnson Capps and Colton Collins could both see time at quarterback. Senior Brandon Lyons steps in at running back, alongside juniors Peyton Kelly, Bradyn Cline and Josh Clark in Bald Knob’s Triple Option offense. Juniors Michael Wingo and Caleb Cervantes clear the way at fullback. Sophomores Brayden Davis and Travis Kersey project as the top receiving threats at receiver and tight end, respectively. Seniors Brayden Capps and Joel Vire and juniors Kelby Webb, Jonathan Harrell, Hayden McAnelly and Zachary Johnson get things moving on the offensive line. Senior Brendan Roberts is a three-year starter at kicker. Harrell, senior Reid Mason and junior Sully Holt will pester opposing offenses from the defensive line. Senior Michael Thompson, Wingo, Kersey, Cline and Davis play downhill at linebacker. Seniors Tyrese Dinwiddie and Justin Williams, Collins and Clark make up the secondary. Football 2019 | 27

Beebe Fast Facts

Conference 5A Central Coach Chris Gunter ’18 Record 4-6 (3-4)

Badgers refreshed under Gunter The Beebe Badgers will have a new look this fall as former Badger Chris Gunter takes over as head coach, moving the offense from the Dead T to more modern formations. The changes have brought out a host of new athletes to the football team. Senior Cade Longing, Adrian Carranco and Gannon Roberts compete at quarterback. Chase Jernigan, Mikey Russell, Seth Howard and Austin Smith emerge as the Badgers’ top rushing and receiving threats. Seniors Alex Holland, Maverick Payne and Logan Pipkins lead up front on the offensive line. Senior Skyler Cranford and Seth Howard bring size to the defensive line. Jernigan, Hayden Howard, Slaton Daniel and Brody Schreyer make up the linebackers unit. Russell, Brooks Nail, Zack Edmondson and Blake Jones lock down the secondary. “We will focus on us and our job at hand,” Gunter said. “We prepare for faceless opponents, so whether conference or nonconference, our guys will understand that passion is connected

Players to Watch Hayden Howard (Jr. QB/DB) Seth Howard (Jr. WR) Logan Pipkins (Sr. OL) Chase Jernigan (Sr. RB/LB) Mikey Russell (Sr. WR/DB)

2019 Schedule

to purpose and task. Every day we will understand the purpose and task at hand as we stack one good rep, one good practice, Aug. 30 Greenbrier one good week on top of Sept. 13 at Lonoke Sept. 20 Vilonia another. Sept. 27 LR Parkview “I love coming to work Oct. 4 at Watson Chapel every day with these kids Oct. 11 White Hall and coaches. We will have Oct. 18 at Pulaski Academy a blue-collared attitude Oct. 25 Maumelle and focus every day on Nov. 1 at LR Fair the process rather than the Nov. 7 at LR Christian prize. My job as the head coach is to not flinch, love on these kids, keep us focused on the daily process while surrendered to the outcome, and build men that are more than just football players and athletes.”

Harding Academy Fast Facts

Conference 2-3A Coach Neil Evans ’18 Record 7-4 (4-2)

Wildcats to battle for 2-3A title The Harding Academy Wildcats finished second in the 2-3A in 2018, and felt like they left a few things on the table. “We competed very well, but we were inconsistent at times,” Coach Neil Evans said. “There were games that our offense played well and defense struggled and vice versa.” Senior Caden Sipe takes over at quarterback after serving as the backup and playing receiver last year. Stone Sheffield returns at running back. The senior put up 1,153 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns last fall. Seniors TJ Hester and Connor McGaha, junior Ty Dugger and sophomore Aaron Chism will start at the receiver spots in the Wildcats’ Spread offense. Senior Aaron Snow; juniors Adam Fager, Chase Brown and Elijah Swindle and sophomore Jacob Breezeel keep the offense going on the line. “Our offensive line will lack some experience but has good size,” Evans said. “Caden has looked good at quarterback through the summer. He should have some weapons around him.” All-state tackle Carter Miller returns on the defensive line. The

Players to Watch Davis Morgan (Sr. QB) Stone Sheffield (Jr. WR/DB) Jake Dugger (Sr. RB/LB) Connor McGaha (Jr. WR) Jimmy Citty (Sr. WR/DB)

2019 Schedule

senior made 61 tackles a year ago. He’ll be joined on the line by sophomore Cooper Welch, junior Aug. 30 Bald Knob Gavin Sparks and senior Sept. 6 Highland Keaton Chapman. The Sept. 13 at Heber Springs linebacker unit will be Sept. 27 at Clinton young. Sophomore Braden Oct. 4 Yellville-Summit Oliver led the Wildcats Oct. 11 Mountain View with 81 tackles as a freshOct. 18 at Melbourne man. Sophomore Eli Wallis Oct. 25 Marshall and junior Jeffrey Mercer Nov. 1 Rose Bud hold down the other Nov. 8 at Cedar Ridge starting linebacker spots. Seniors Parker Golden and Hayden Koch, junior Caleb Connell and sophomore Lawson Brooks man the secondary.

Rose Bud Fast Facts Conference 2-3A Coach Greg Tibbit ’18 Record 0-3

Rose Bud eyes winning culture Players to Watch Steven Cox (Sr. QB/LB) Gus Eubanks (Soph. QB) Eduardo Diaz (Soph. RB/LB) Dawson Robertson (Jr. WR) Chance Reeves (Sr. OL/DL)

28 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

The Rose Bud Ramblers cancelled the remainder of their season last fall after non-conference play due to low numbers. It was the second time in three years the program was forced to cancel the majority of the season. Greg Tibbitt, Rose Bud’s third head coach in as many years, takes over and will work to establish a winning culture. Senior Steven Cox and sophomore Gus Eubanks will likely both see time at quarterback. Sophomore Eduardo Diaz will carry the load at running back, with junior Dakota Sprankle stepping up in

relief. Senior Austin Garrett and juniors Dawson Robertson and Noel Estrada are the main receiving targets. Senior Chance Reeves and junior Canton Moody return on the offensive line, alongside senior Levi Biniakewitz, juniors Euri Guiterrez and Andrew Rodgers and sophomore Mark Sides. Most Ramblers play both ways. Sides, Rodgers, Guiterrez, Reeves, Moody and Biniakewitz rotate on the defensive line. Sprankle, Diaz and Cox lead the linebackers. Garrett, Tristin Lewis and Estrada work the secondary.

Riverview Fast Facts

Conference 2-4A Coach Drake Widener ’18 Record 2-8 (1-6)

Players to Watch Logan Miller (Sr. QB/DB) Ashton Williams (Sr. WR/ DB) Santos Gutierrez (Sr. LB/RB) Logan Langley (Sr. TE/LB) Tommy Welton (Sr. DL)

Raiders ready to bounce back The Riverview Raiders were coming off one of their best years in 2017 (seven wins), but injuries and a sudden change early in the season marred their 2018 campaign. After their third game of the season, Coach Mike McCain had to resign due to health issues. “The kids had a lot of adversity hit between injuries and a midseason coaching change, which caused them to lose composure both on and off the field,” said Drake Widener, who took over head coaching duties earlier this year. “Last season was an extremely tough year for our kids, and we are excited to get something positive going this season.” Logan Miller returns to lead the offense at quarterback. The senior served at running back a year ago, rushing for 429 yards and six touchdowns before getting injured. Senior Drake Ivy features as the primary running back. Seniors Logan Langley and Carlos Munoz start at tight end. Senior Ashton Williams moves to receiver, alongside junior Kamil Preciado and senior Colby Vines. Hunter Rollins (left tackle), Carter Dunn (left guard), Kolby Buster (center), Izaya Patterson (right guard) and Isaiah Black (right tackle) will start the action up front on the offensive line. “Offensively, we will be very multiple and try to run

2019 Schedule

the football and have some balance as well,” Widener said. Patterson, Black and Munoz will rotate Aug. 30 at Brookland Sept. 6 at DeWitt at defensive end, Sept. 13 at Highland while senior Tommy Sept. 27 at CAC Welton, Dunn and Oct. 4 Southside Batesville Buster grind at the Oct. 11 Mills defensive tackles. SeOct. 18 at Stuttgart nior Santos Gutierrez Oct. 25 Bald Knob amassed 123 tackles Nov. 1 at Heber Springs and two sacks a year Nov. 7 Lonoke ago at linebacker. Seniors Ethan Greer, Todd Castera, Ixsael Gameros and Langley and sophomore Israel Gameros battle for the other linebacker spots. Miller and Williams lead the secondary. “On defense, we will run a 4-2-5 and focus on stopping the run and being sound in the passing game,” Widener said. “Santos Gutierrez is an all-conference linebacker, and if he stays healthy, in our new defense he will absolutely shine.”

Stay IN THE Game SERVICES INCLUDE Sports Injuries | Fractures Comprehensive Orthopaedic Services

Orthopaedics: (501) 278-2868 Physical Therapy: (501) 278-8370

Football 2019 | 29

UCA Fast Facts

Southland Conference Coach Nathan Brown ’18 Record 6-5 (5-4)

Players to Watch Jeremiah Gray (Fr. DE) Cameron Myers (Fr. RB) Malik Wilson (Soph. LB) DJ Reed (Jr. LB) Dwight Blakey (Jr. WR)

Must-See Game

“We have a great home schedule. We will be hosting some of the power teams in this conference. We get McNeese, Sam Houston and Southeastern Louisiana at home this year. ” — Brown

30 | 501 LIFE Football 2019

Bears chasing SLC title Injuries and the inability to close tight games led to a late-season falloff for the UCA Bears in their first year under Nathan Brown. The Bears showed perseverance by ending a three-game losing streak with a gritty win at Abilene Christian to close the season. “We were coming off of a three-game skid and came together in tough environment against a great team and found a way to come together and win,” Brown said. “That sealed another winning season for the UCA program, and that is huge for us and the culture we try to have here year in and year out. “Anytime you lose your first- and second-string quarterback, it is going to be difficult to sustain success. I thought our coaches on both side of the ball did a great job creating game plans each week to allow us to be in every game. Personally, I learned a lot. I know the details and strain it takes as the head coach moving forward. We will be a better coached team in 2019 because of that experience I had in year one.” Junior quarterback Breylin Smith returns to lead the Bears after losing most of last season to injury. He’ll be backed up by sophomore Luke Hales, who started seven games after Smith’s injury. Smith was sharp in four games last fall, completing 69 percent of his passes for 1,009 yards and six touchdowns. The Bears return both leading rushers from last year. Senior Carlos Blackman rushed for 786 yards and

2019 Schedule

nine scores, and junior Kierre Crossley put up 600 yards and two scores. Redshirt freshAug. 29 at W. Kentucky man Cameron Myers Sept. 7 at Austin Peay could also provide a Sept. 14 Abilene Christian spark in the backfield. Sept. 21 at Hawaii The biggest quesOct. 5 at Nicholls State tion mark offenOct. 12 McNeese State sively for the Bears is Oct. 19 Northwestern State at receiver. The talent Oct. 26 Sam Houston State is there, but the experiNov. 2 at Lamar ence is lacking. Junior Nov. 9 SE Louisiana Brandon Myers leads Nov. 16 Stephen F. Austin the way as the Bears’ Nov. 22 at Incarnate Word lone returning starter in the receiving corps. Myers hauled in 484 yards and five scores. Junior Dwight Blakey is UCA’s top newcomer at receiver, transferring in from Northwood University. Juniors Tobias Enlow and Joe Hampton and sophomore Jarrod Barnes could also emerge at receiver. The Bears return four starters on the offensive line — seniors Hunter Watts (left tackle) and Dylan Desper (right tackle) and juniors Adrian Harris (left guard) and Toby Sanderson

With a potentially explosive offense and a seasoned defense, the Bears are in the hunt again for a Southland Conference title. (UCA Athletics photo) (center). Sophomore Jaylin Hendrix projects as the starter at right guard. UCA boasts two talented tight ends in juniors Jack Short and Sam Camargo. Junior Hayden Ray takes over place-kicking duties. “Offensively, the expectations are very high,” Brown said. “The lack of experience [at receiver] is the concern. If we can get them playing at a high level quickly in the season, this could be a very explosive offensive unit.” Defensive end Chris Terrell haunted opposing quarterbacks last season. The senior racked up 8.5 sacks and 16 total tackles for a loss. He’ll be joined on the defensive line by juniors Ajavius

Brown (nose guard) and Austin Norris (tackle), junior DJ Reed and redshirt freshman Jeremiah Gray. Junior Nathan Grant is the lone returning starter at linebacker, alongside sophomores Malik Wilson and T.J. Campbell. The secondary returns four starters — seniors Juan Jackson (safety), Isaiah Macklin (safety) and Trai Mosley (corner) and juniors Jackie Harvell (nickel) and Robert Rochell (corner). “I feel great about our secondary,” Brown said. “We have three all-conference caliber players back there in Juan Jackson, Jackie Harvell and Robert Rochell. We also return our top four corners from

last year’s unit. We will be breaking in a couple new linebackers. I think we have more speed and playmaking ability in the linebacker room than we have had in a long time. “Our defensive line has been a strength for the last couple years. We will be breaking in some new faces in this room. I look forward to watching Nathan Grant, Austin Norris, and J.W. Jones taking another step in the right direction. Coach Chad Williams is our new defensive coordinator, and he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this unit. I think we will really thrive under his leadership moving forward.”

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501 Football 2019  

This year’s cover features a member of the 501 Football Team from the three counties — Conway, Faulkner and White — that are featured in thi...

501 Football 2019  

This year’s cover features a member of the 501 Football Team from the three counties — Conway, Faulkner and White — that are featured in thi...