Put on the black, red, blue or orange...it's football time
Teams will take to the gridirons around the state Friday as they once again begin their quest for state football crowns. Many will have high expectations regarding how their seasons will turn out, but, as always, only a handful of teams will win their last game of the season.
Each of those teams will be crowned as the champions of their respective classifications. In other words, every team but the ones in classifications 2A through 7A finished their seasons on a losing note. The winners from last year were: 7A-Bentonville, 6A-Lake Hamilton, 5A-Pulaski Academy, 4A-Shiloh Christian, 3A-Charleston and 2A-Junction City.
Will these teams repeat? Some, maybe...... or maybe not. They will have plenty of competition
For these six teams there will be 206 other teams (not counting those who have dropped football) who will be doing every thing in their power to keep last year's champions from climbing to the pinnacle of their division once again.
All four teams the Democrat Tribune covers made the playoffs last season. Some did well, making it beyond the first round, and some didn't, losing right out of the starting gates. But all lost their last game.
Will that turn around this season for Trumann, Marked Tree, Harrisburg or EPC? Once again, maybe or maybe not.
Two teams have new/old coaches in Brian Weathers at EPC and Waylon Dunn at Marked Tree. The other two have the same generals in place.
Of the four only the Indians and Warriors play each other in the 2A-3. As such I can't unabashedly root for all four teams. It would be nice if they were in four divisions, but they're not so I have to walk the line, at least between those two rivals.
Thursday, when the junior highs play, I'll be at Marked Tree to see the annual rivalry. Then the next week on Friday, I'll be at Lepanto to see the senior highs battle it out.
Once again I'll spend a half on each sideline to keep the fans (or anyone else) from saying I'm playing favorites. And I'll do my dead level best not to show any emotion either way (even though that get's awful tough on spectacular plays).
This Friday I'm making my first excursion to the home side of the Hornet's field at Harrisburg and I'm looking forward to it.
The Hornets did very well last season and are expected to do so again this season.
We'll be covering two teams each Thursday and Friday, but will have as complete coverage as possible for the other two schools each week.
We've divided the games up so all four teams will get an equal amount of games. And the huge majority of those games are at the respective home fields.
Therefore, as I mentioned in another column earlier this year, if you have a good camera and are at the away games take some pictures and get them to us at the Democrat Tribune.
You can either bring a disk or hard copy by the paper office in Trumann or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way we can give the best coverage of each team that we possibly can.
Regardless, go out and support your favorite team Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And that's my opinion this week for what it's worth.