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INSIDE TIGER NATION 4

25: LOOKING BACK ON THE STREAK

10 13 14 16

2012 SEASON PREVIEW SCHEDULE ROSTER SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

20 ONE-ON-ONE WITH COACH LUNNEY

Game photos from 2011 courtesy of Bentonville High School, Clear Choice Photo and Eric Molle. Visit PictureNWA.com and ClearChoicePhoto.com for more high school football action.


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LOOKING BACK ON THE STREAK The last thing any Bentonville football fan wanted to do on the fateful December day that the Tigers played their last game of 2011 was sit and reflect on what a great season it had been. Coach Barry Lunney had coached his kids to 25 straight victories over two years, but the 26th consecutive win that would have clinched a second straight state title eluded Bentonville. Season over, with eight months to think about it. Like all winning streaks, the Tigers’ 25game run ended in defeat. Losing in overtime of the state championship didn’t ease the pain of snapping one of the program’s greatest accomplishments. “It took a great play on fourth down, and to get it to overtime… It was a disappointing end

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to almost a dream year. A dream two years. That’s the hard thing,” Lunney said. “You have to get on the other end of it to really appreciate it, because with every game there was more and more internal pressure that you place on yourself.” Before the 29-28 loss to Fayetteville, the Tigers had gone two years and 12 days without losing a football game “You say every coach has a goal of winning every game, and you do, but the reality is it’s so difficult to do that,” Lunney said. “It was a pretty remarkable run considering the competition, between the non-conference schedule and the teams in our conference we have to play.” And Bentonville didn’t just win all those

games - they often weren’t even challenged. The Tigers’ closest call was a 38-34 win over, fittingly, Fayetteville. To date, the Bulldogs are the only team to have even come within 10 points of Bentonville since the beginning of 2010. “When you go back and look at it, and I’ve been doing this a really long time, it was just a real unique, special group of kids,” Lunney said. “There weren’t any BCS or Division-I type kids on there. Most of the guys that we did have sign were Division-II. Desmond Smith went to UCA. He was the only one who went to Division-I. “But I said it many times over the course of a couple years, you could just watch as that (2011 senior) group was coming – the way they meshed with some of the underclassmen – and they just had fun. They enjoyed the game, they enjoyed each other, and they were some talented kids.” Senior running back Tearris Wallace is one of the few holdovers who played in all those wins, and he’s hoping to leave an active winning streak for the next class when he graduates this year “That’s one of my top achievements, but now we’ve got to put it behind us and work on the next streak,” Wallace said. Lunney said his players’ easy-going attitude made it easier to hold up under the weight of all the winning. “Sometimes as a coach you don’t get to enjoy the ride, and you have to try to enjoy the process. But that group had fun,” he said. “They had fun in the dressing room, in practice – you never could tell the difference. It was always the same with those guys. “I think you have to have that kind of mentality to have a chance at being successful, and then they had the ability to complete it.”


1,042 Total Points Scored

41.7

Points Per Game

27.8

Average Margin of Victory

12

Times Held Opponent to Seven Points or Fewer

55

Largest Margin of Victory

1

Games Won by Single Digits

742

Days Between Defeats

BENTONVILLE 45, N. LITTLE ROCK 0 BENTONVILLE 48, FT. ZUMWALT WEST 18 BENTONVILLE 30, TEXAS HIGH 7 BENTONVILLE 38, FAYETTEVILLE 34 BENTONVILLE 35, FS SOUTHSIDE 10 BENTONVILLE 64, ROGERS HERITAGE 28 BENTONVILLE 49, ROGERS HIGH 0 BENTONVILLE 69, FS NORTHSIDE 41 BENTONVILLE 42, SPRINGDALE HIGH 7 BENTONVILLE 55, SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 41 BENTONVILLE 38, BRYANT 7 BENTONVILLE 49, SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 20 BENTONVILLE 49, FAYETTEVILLE 28 BENTONVILLE 49, N. LITTLE ROCK 14 BENTONVILLE 42, FT. ZUMWALT WEST 12 BENTONVILLE 36, TEXAS HIGH 0 BENTONVILLE 41, FAYETTEVILLE 6 BENTONVILLE 38, FS SOUTHSIDE 0 BENTONVILLE 45, ROGERS HERITAGE 6 BENTONVILLE 61, ROGERS 6 BENTONVILLE 63, FS NORTHSIDE 28 BENTONVILLE 48, SPRINGDALE HIGH 0 BENTONVILLE 28, SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 14 BENTONVILLE 42, WEST MEMPHIS 14 BENTONVILLE 31, N. LITTLE ROCK 7 TIGER NATION | 5


BACK IN BUSINESS After a long offseason, Bentonville takes the field once again with intentions of building a new win streak, and a new cast of characters.

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NEW-LOOK TIGERS BAC PROWL WITH DEFENSE Zero. That’s what the Bentonville Tigers’ win streak stands at going into the 2012 season. That’s also probably the number of days coach Barry Lunney has gone since last season without thinking about the last game the Tigers played. But this year’s Bentonville team gets to hit the reset button on Aug. 31 when Kansas City Rockhurst High School comes to Tiger Stadium for the first tilt of the year. Lunney is hoping a reset leads to a revamping of a program that won 96 percent of its games from 2010-11. The Tigers won 25 straight games by bludgeoning the opposition on a weekly basis, leaning on a high-powered offense each Friday night. In 2012, Lunney said the team’s strength will shift to the defensive side of

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the football, where the Tigers have five returning starters at linebacker or defensive back in the pass-attacking 7A-West Conference, and experience on the line as well. Compare that to what is left of last year’s offense, which returns just three starters from a year ago. “We’re going to have to lean on our defensive side for experience,” Lunney said. “The thing that kind of goes unnoticed last year – Dallas (Hardison) as good as he was, and he was outstanding, and Mason (Snow) and Desmond (Smith), and Tearris (Wallace) and the

guys we had on offense – we were starting seven, sometimes eight underclassmen on defense. We were really a young defensive football team.” The Tigers boast a Division-I recruit at inside linebacker in senior Garrett Kaufman, who committed to Arkansas State over the summer. He’s flanked by another senior linebacker in John Donald, that combo plays in front of senior safety Nate Gneiting. “Nate Gneiting at safety is as good of an athlete as we have on our football team. He’ll be college player some-

The non-conference schedule we have is going to be the most challenging I’ve ever had as a head coach. “It’s going to be paramount that we can lean on (the defense) early on.” -Head Coach Barry Lunney


BACK ON THE SE IN THE SPOTLIGHT 2012 PREVIEW

where,” Lunney said. Senior starters at both cornerback positions helps take the pressure off the young defensive line, which featured two sophomores most of last season. “Chris Mizelle at corner and Gavin Shadrick at the other corner, those guys played every down last year, in a conference with so many great passers,” Lunney said. “Our secondary is going to be strong. Up the middle, our linebackers should be strong too.” Lunney said he was excited about the potential of Nick Fernandez, Justin Fair and Jared Conover on the line after getting thrown in the fire last year. Their experience will be invaluable in the early weeks of the season, when the Tigers jump right into a tough non-conference slate. “You look at those guys, and they’re going to have to be the nucleus to get us

going. Especially with the schedule – the non-conference schedule we have is going to be the most challenging I’ve ever had as a head coach,” Lunney said. “It’s going to be paramount that we can lean on those guys early on.” Lunney said the defense carried the team through spring practice and summer camp, and that the inexperienced offense has progressed nicely after battling a strong defensive unit in scrimmages and drills every day. “I like the progression I saw from spring to our pad camp. We had a lot of improvement, and I think we’ll be good (on offense) in time,” he said. “But we lost so many offensive starters. We lost four starting offensive linemen, we lost all our receivers that had any significant time on the field, and we lost the best quarterback in the state in my opinion last year.”

Bentonville returns just one starter at a skill position, third-year starter Tearris Wallace at tailback. Wallace will shoulder the burden of leading the offensive attack with last year’s aerial presence entirely graduated. “My goal is to continue to get better and continue to be a leader for this team,” Wallace said. “I want to help everyone the best way I can. Everybody’s putting in a lot of hard work, and we’re coming together as a team. “It’s all coming together faster, and we have a great bond this year. A better bond than last year even - we’re out there working for each other.” Senior Reese Dollins will try to fill the hefty shoes of the departed Hardison, now a freshman at Henderson State. “We can win with Reese. Reese has some good qualities. He can throw the ball, and he moves in the pocket very

TIGER NATION | 11


2012 PREVIEW

well and can scramble. He keeps his eyes downfield when he does,” Lunney said. “On Monday nights (last year) we were undefeated in JV, and he made play after play using his feet and throwing on the run.” Dollins had a productive summer, capturing MVP honors in a 7-on-7 tournament in July that Bentonville hosted. He helped the Tigers win all seven of their tournament games by not throwing a single interception. “It’s fitting together really good,” Wallace said. “Reese is almost a spitting image of Dallas. They worked together all year last year and Reese studied his every movement, every pass, and every route. I think he’s well-adapted. Fall practice is only going to make him better.” Lunney said he doesn’t have to be concerned with replicating Hardison’s success but rather playing to his own strenghths. “He’s got the demeanor you want in a quarterback. He was unfortunately, for him, behind as good a quarterback as there was last year, and that’s the truth. Reese would’ve started for us most years, and probably would’ve started for several of the teams in the state last year,” Lunney said. “Reese has just got to be Reese, and I know carried some of that pressure early on in spring football,

12 |

trying to follow in Dallas’s footprints” While Dollins will be playing with a remade receiving corps behind an almost entirely new offensive line, he has Wallace and returning tight end Jack Kraus as safety valves. Lunney said that while the Tigers had so much talent and depth the last two years, the reserves got plenty of experience simply because the starters were out of the games early after opening so many big leads. “The good news for us in one respect is because we had so many games that by halftime or third quarter we had control of, these guys got to get on the field,” Lunney said. “That I think will help them in that progress toward adjusting to Friday nights, specficially the speed of the game at the varsity level, even though we didn’t let them throw a lot in those times because we didn’t want to run the score up. “They got quite a few snaps, most of those guys.” The returning Tigers will certainly have Nov. 2 circled on their calendars when they host the defending champion Fayetteville Bulldogs, but that’s not until Week 10 of the season. Bentonville has plenty of hurdles to clear before then, with three non-conference games against out-of-state op-

ponents before opening 7A West play at Springdale Har-Ber. “I think Har-Ber is going to be near the top, because they’re so good on defense. If you’re good on defense you’re always going to have a chance,” Lunney said. “I see them as somebody that everybody in this league’s going to have to contend with. They’re an upper echelon program and I don’t see any reason that that drops off.” Lunney said there is depth in the conference too with Rogers Heritage returning a now-junior quarterback and Rogers High beginning its second campaign with the option attack. And while the Fort Smith schools moved out of the league this year, he expects big things from newcomers Van Buren and Siloam Springs sooner than later. But the champs are the champs until someone beats them, and Bentonville will have to wait its turn for a highly-anticipated rematch. “If you look at teams on paper, obviously with Fayetteville and their quarterback and a couple kids that (the University of) Arkansas has offered, and then (Jordan) Dennis who moved from Springdale where he was their best athlete... You start with them, and then HarBer and us are the top three on paper right now,” Lunney said.


TIGER FOOTBALL

TIGER NATION | 13


VARSITY ROSTER NO. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

NAME MITCH MAWBY AUSTIN MORGAN CHRIS MIZELLE PAUL ROUSE BLAKE BARRON AARON YOUNG DILLON WADE AUSTIN HAGGARD AUSTIN PARNELL NICK FERNANDEZ JAKE SLOCUM TREY PERKINS KALEB HANEY REESE DOLLINS DEREK HEMBRY GAVIN SHADRICK NATE GNEITING CODY SCROGGINS AUSTIN PASSMORE BRENDAN MANLEY HARRISON ROONEY JOSE RAMIREZ DYLAN SMITH WESTIN KJELLBERG

14 |

GR. 11 11 12 10 11 12 12 12 11 11 11 12 12 12 10 12 12 10 11 11 10 11 10 12

HT. 5'5 5'11 5'8 5'8 6' 5'8 5'10 5'9 5'11 6'2 6' 5'11 6'2 5'10 5'10 6' 6'1 5'10 5'9 5'8 6' 5'10 5'9 5'11

WT. 128 151 155 135 155 125 163 160 145 199 170 170 180 175 147 175 165 150 132 145 171 137 190 156

POS. WR DB WR/DB WR WR/DB DB DB WR/DB WR LB/DL QB WR/DB WR QB QB/DB DB WR/DB WR WR DB OLB DB RB DB

NO. 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

NAME TYLER CONDON JORDAN WHITE TEARRIS WALLACE MICHAEL LUNSFORD JIMMY SHORT CLAY WALLACE GARRETT KAUFMAN GRANT WILLBANKS HEKILI KELIILIKI HAYDEN MCDANIEL TYLER NICHOLS BENNETT MOEHRING JACE HERRON TYLER WILLEY CLAY LEWIS DARION MOORE JOHN DONALD PARKER HANCOCK PATRICK BROUWER JOSH GOAN CLAY MCCONNELL HUNTER HOLZHAUSER COLTON ROSS JORDAN CAYLOR

GR. 11 11 12 11 12 11 12 12 10 10 11 10 12 11 12 11 12 10 11 11 11 11 11 11

HT. 5'11 5'11 5'10 5'10 6' 6'1 6'2 5'10 6' 5'7 6'1 5'8 6'1 6'2 5'8 6'2 5'11 5'9 5'9 5'9 5'7 5'7 6'1 5’9

WT. 154 168 211 160 153 163 220 169 190 135 167 150 187 200 176 200 201 155 200 150 165 170 188 161

POS. WR DB RB DB OLB WR/OLB RB/ILB DE/OLB ILB/RB WR OLB K DB DL LB OL ILB RB/OLB OLB DB OLB ILB WR/DB ILB


TIGER FOOTBALL NO. 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75

NAME JAKE HELSLEY MICHAEL SMITH ZACH BRUNETTI COLLIN DOW ZACK COOPER TREVOR FOSTER JARED CONOVER MARSHALL CONNER JUSTIN FAIR JACOB BURFORD BRENDAN NORMAN ZACH MCBRIDE MITCHELL WILLIAMS BRANDON WITT RYAN HALLWACHS TANNER GUTHRIE GREG CABOT JACKSON HANNAH TRISTAN RICHARDSON CHANDLER HAWKINS JUSTIN MERCHANT JOHN STEWART JACOB KELLEY MARSHALL CONNER

GR. 11 11 11 12 12 12 11 11 12 12 11 12 10 12 11 11 12 11 11 11 11 11 11 11

HT. 5’8 5’8 6’ 5’9 5’9 6’6 6’1 6’ 6’ 5’10 6’2 6’1 6’3 6’2 6’ 6’5 5’11 6’2 6’1 6’ 5’11 6’3 5’11 6’

WT. 207 202 273 238 258 276 266 283 255 212 210 260 237 204 186 238 179 236 240 214 200 268 230 283

POS. OL ILB OL OL OL OL DL OL DL OL DL OL OL OL DL OL DL OL DL OL DL OL OL OL

NO. 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

NAME HUNTER HASTINGS WANYA JOHNSON EAN PFEIFER AARON RISENHOOVER HUNTER SMITHPETERS JIMMIE JACKSON GARRETT SNELL JACK KRAUS JACKSON BREECE CONOR BAIRD JOSH CRENSHAW JAVIER CARBONELL AUSTIN BUGOS CHASE MORSE FISCHER JONES RODRICK EDELEN MATTHEW VELOTTA JASON GOMEZ ANDY LOVVORN TRE DONSON BEN COLBERT DENNIS CALDERON CHANCE PICKERING

GR. 10 12 10 12 11 11 11 11 10 12 11 10 10 11 12 11 12 11 12 11 11 11 11

HT. 6’6 6’2 6’4 6’6 5’9 6’2 5’10 6’6 5’11 6’3 6’ 6’2 6’ 6’1 5’10 6’3 5’11 5’9 5’10 5’7 5’11 5’8 5’11

WT. 220 202 257 292 133 175 160 234 170 170 172 240 210 235 164 206 174 180 245 237 238 214 215

POS. OL DL OL OL WR WR WR TE WR WR WR DL/TE TE TE ILB DL DL DL DL DL DL DL DL

TIGER NATION | 15


SENIOR SPOTLIGHT REESE

NATE

CHRIS

TEARRIS

DOLLINS #16

GNEITING #19

MIZELLE #3

WALLACE #29

Position: Quarterback

Position: Safety, Wide Receiver

Position: Cornerback, Wide Receiver

Position: Running Back, Kick Returner

Also Plays: Track

Also Plays: Baseball

Also Plays: Track, Soccer

Favorite Restaurant: Logan’s Roadhouse

Favorite Restaurant: Mellow Mushroom

Favorite Restaurant: Red Lobster

Favorite Athlete: Eric Berry

Favorite Athlete: Darrelle Revis

Favorite Athlete: Trent Richardson

Favorite Musician: Jason Aldean

Favorite Musician: Kid Cudi

Favorite Musician: Meek Mill

Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans

Favorite Movie: Step Brothers

Favorite Movies: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon

Coach Lunney Says: “Nate Gneiting at safety is as good of an athlete as we have on our football team.”

Coach Lunney Says: “Chris Mizelle at corner, (he) played every down last year, in a conference with so many great passers.”

Coach Lunney Says: “We have an outstanding running back in Tearris Wallace, a third-year starter in this league.”

Also Plays: Golf Favorite Restaurant: Red Lobster Favorite Athlete: Drew Brees Favorite Musician: Rascal Flatts Favorite Movie: Blades of Glory Coach Lunney Says: “Reese can throw the ball, and he moves in the pocket very well and can scramble. He keeps his eyes downfield when he does.”

CLASS OF 2013 16 |


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ONE-ON-ONE WITH THE COACH BARRY

LUNNEY

8th Year as Bentonville Head Coach 37th Year Coaching Football How many kids and grandkids do you have? I have three children, and I just had my ninth grandkid. My son-in-law just took four of them to Cincinnati, and then Barry’s got two and my youngest son Daniel in Greenwood just had his third. What coaches do you admire or borrow from? There are so many guys whose work you look at. I have to tell you my coaching tree which I’m from, and if I look at different staffs it’d be hard to pick one guy here are there. My dad and my high school coach played for John Barnhill at the University of Arkansas, who Barnhill Arena is named after. John Barnhill coached at Tennessee as an assistant before he came to Arkansas, under General Neyland, which Neyland Stadium at Tennessee named after him. Their philosophy of “defense and kicking game” – if you look down our walls in the indoor facility, you’ll see our game maxims. I used to hear that every Friday night, and we’ve repeated those maxims, which were from Arkansas, which came from Tennessee and are on their walls in their athletic center. I look at that influence of Bill Stansell who was my high school football coach, Jim Rowland who’s athletic director at Fort Smith now and was also on that staff and later hired me at Southside, and his work ethic, I learned so much from him about discipline and structure. I coached as an assistant at Southside also with Bob Gatling, and Coach Gatling had been a college coach for 20 years. Those are my fundamental beliefs, and I’ve taken that mentality and put my own personality with what I learned from those guys.

20 |

There are so many good coaches today I look at from an X’s and O’s scheme, but I don’t ever stray too far from my roots. Are we blocking and tackling? Are we playing defense? How’s our kicking game? If you’ll look at coaches who are successful today, they know how to play defense and they don’t beat themselves. If I got into a pro guy, (Tony Dungy) is a guy I’d be in to. He’s down to earth and understands it’s a bigger picture than just athletics. I have a lot of admiration for him, and also guys like Tom Landry and Dan Reeves, who had a good balance about what life was about. What are some of your mantras or sayings that your kids can probably reel off from memory? One of the things is, “Press the kicking game, it’s here where the breaks are made. If at first the break goes against you, don’t slow down, put on more steam.” It’s an old vernacular, “put on more steam.” Those kinds of things we talk about all

the time. I can ask them, “One out of how many downs is some form of the kicking game?” and they’ll tell you, “One of every five downs is some sort of the kicking game on Friday night.” There are some things on the discipline side they can probably tell you too. “Make sure you get in church and Sunday school in the weekend, and take care of your spiritual life.” How many hours of week do you spend thinking about football? I think I’ve gotten good at that, separating it. I know sometimes I run into a kid out eating or something and they go, “Hey coach, what are you doing here?” It’s like they think we crawl out from the cracks at night like the cockroaches do and live at the school, that we don’t live a normal life. That would be hard for me to say, and when the season gets closer it’s more and more on mind. But I think my wife would agree, when I go home I do a pretty good job of leaving it here. A lot of people would


be surprised, they ask, “Did you see that game on TV? Or that one play?” I don’t try to watch 25 games. If there’s a good game on I might watch it but that’s it. I may go sit in the deer stand just to get away, whether I see a deer or not. Just to get up there on a Saturday afternoon and relax. It’s a lot more on my mind in August trying to get everything done, but it’s a whole bunch better than it used to be.

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Are there any pro teams or athletes that you root for? From afar I watch some guys, I liked watching Tony Dungy’s teams when he was coaching and pulled for him. He went through some real personal tragedies and you want to see good things happen to good people. I like Wes Welker, and there’s a story there. Barry (Lunney Jr.) was a coach at Tulsa and they didn’t recruit him, and Keith (Burns, then-head coach) just decided he was just too little. You look at that guy and see what he’s doing and love watching the guys who were too little, too slow, too something. I really enjoy the college game, and if there’s something on the weekend I can watch it’s a college game. And when you play against them in high school and get to see them move up, you keep a watch for them. What other hobbies do you enjoy outside of football? I love my grandkids. As a real hobby though, it’s got to be the outdoors. Coach (Rick) Rachel’s got me bow hunting, and I’ve never done that before. I did that last year and killed two deer, and I’m thrilled. I’m so fired up about it. I like to fish and hunt, and my youngest son Daniel has got me in to duck hunting, and I’ve started doing that the last several years. That’s after that last December game though. I’ve really enjoyed deer hunting the last three or four years, and I never really hunted before that. I used to fly fish a lot and still like to, but I don’t get away as much as I used to. It’s just so good to get in a tree stand. I told Becky my wife, she asked how I sit out there four or five hours and I tell her, “It’s so relaxing just watching nature whether I shoot anything or not, it’s good to get away and get some quiet and sit outdoors.”

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What are your favorite TV shows? Re-runs of The Andy Griffith Show. I could tell you just about every word and line in each one. Unfortunately he passed recently but they had a marathon on TV Land, and it was fun to watch a bunch of them again. I know it’s a generational thing, but I don’t watch much TV, there’s just not much depth to a lot of it any more. CP_5.5x8.5_FtSmith_45592.indd 1

What are your favorite restaurants in 5/30/12 3:26 PM Bentonville? You’re going to get me in trouble now, but we love this new one The Flying Fish. Table Mesa down on the square is a great restaurant, and there’s about three we frequent. Carrabba’s is one, those are always good. I don’t eat out a lot though, I like to cook at home. I cook a lot of wild game, deer

TIGER NATION | 21


ONE-ON-ONE WITH THE COACH meat, I love to cook duck and my kids like it when I cook duck. I used to hate it but I learned how to do it and it has a pretty good taste with jalapeno peppers, marinated over night and wrapped in turkey bacon, it’s pretty good. If you could have any job in sports, what would it be? I think I’ve got it. I made the decision to come here and it’s turned out great. I’d had some opportunities to coach in college ball, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I was thankful I had them, and it was an honor and very humbling, but I love doing this. To me, I can honestly say that I get to go to work every day and do something I enjoy. I hate to even use the word “work.” I enjoy being with the kids and the coaches, and doing something you have a passion for and love is unique. I’ve got a lot of friends who make a lot of money in good jobs, and I hear from them from time to time, “I hate what I’m doing. I’d love to do what you’re doing.” I heard that early on, years and years ago. I think I’m the luckiest guy around. Take a look around. Look at these fa-

cilities. And the kids I get to work with. It doesn’t get any better than this. I have college coach after college coach, they come through here recruiting and I can see it in their eyes and they’ll say the same thing. I’ll never forget one day, and I won’t say who it is but you’d probably know him, he looked through my door and said, “You know, you’ve got the best thing going that there is. You get to be home with your family in the spring, you don’t have to go recruiting, you don’t have to listen to 17and 18-year-old kids pull keep you out on a string telling you they’re going to come here or to that college…And if the head coach gets fired, I’ve got to start looking for a job too. I wish I’d done what you did 25 years ago. I was so close to going to high school.” I asked him why he didn’t do it now, and he said he was too locked in to what he was doing. I’m telling the truth, I had some guys here from different parts of the country, they both got fired at their schools because the head guy got fired, and two of them said the same thing to me. “If I had to do it all over again, I’d be doing what you’re doing.”

I’ve heard that and I know that, and I made the decision long ago, and it just validates the decisions I’ve made. This is my deal. I got a chance to hire my son, which doesn’t happen every place, and I got a chance to bring part of my staff with me which doesn’t happen at the high school level hardly at all, and I got to handpick the other guys that I wanted too. I’ve got my dream job. If you could start a pro football team with any players pro or present, what guys would you start with? I’d look for guys with high character, who understood was team was and weren’t worried about individual stuff, which is very rare at the professional level. From what little I know about professional teams, I’ve gathered that guys like you’ve got at New England who over the years have chosen not to go through free agency and take more money from other clubs, but would rather play there in a team environment and are willing to have their salaries readjusted to keep somebody else there. They seem to have bought into a team concept, so I’d want guys like that.


RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE


Bentonville Football Preview  

Official media guide of the Bentonville Tigers, winners of 25 straight games from 2009-2011.

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