2015: A look back at Poinsett County sports
Poinsett County saw their share of highs during year in sports in 2015. Tournaments won, scholarships signed, new coaches and a friend honored. Here's a look back.
The Bay Yellowjackets started off the year right with their sixth straight Kell Classic title with a 72-46 win over Southside. Bay followed that up two months later by defeating Emerson 83-56 in the Class 1A state title game in Hot Springs. Colton Watson was named tournament MVP becoming only the fourth player to score 40 or more in the state finals.
Several athletes in the county will continue their careers playing sports at the college level. Aaron Scales of EPC signed to play football or the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Trumann's Grayson Dye inked a scholarship to play basketball at Lyon College in Batesville and Lexi Perry of Marked Tree signed to play basketball for Mineral Area College. Kaylan Wilson of EPC signed to play softball with Crowley's Ridge College and Harrisburg's Keely Edwards will continue her softball career with the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks.
Baseball and softball season saw teams do well and make it to state tournament play. Bay made the boys' state tournament with Harrisburg and Trumann each advancing to play in the Class 4A state tournament. Blake Daniels of Marked Tree was selected to play in the Xtra Innings Summer Classic played at Arkansas State University. The Delta 9 All-Star team, made up of players from Harrisburg, Lepanto and Trumann, took runner-up at the state tournament held in Batesville.
As football season got ready to crank up, the county saw two coaching changes made. Cody Wallis was named the new head football at Marked Tree High School and Craig Green took over as head junior high coach at Trumann with his departure. Wallis guided the Indians to a third place finish in the 2A-3 conference and a first round home playoff game. The Indians lost to Brinkley 21-20 ending their season. Coach Scott Waymire of Trumann improved from a 1-9 season to 6-4 as the Wildcats secured a state playoff spot as well. Trumann traveled to Pea Ridge where they were eliminated from the playoffs with a 42-6 loss. Poinsett County as well as the entire state was saddened to hear of the passing of coaching great Bill Keedy of Newport.
Tennis and golf saw players do well in each of their sports as well, The EPC Lady Warriors on their district meet as Becca Bishop and Ameila Worsham won the district doubles title. Sisters Keely and Abby Edwards also won a doubles district title before going on to finish as runner-ups in the Class 4A state tournament. Twin brothers Ben and Kyle Collins of Trumann also won their district doubles title advancing to the state tournament.
Bay's Cheer team competed in the Class 1A-2A State Cheer competition in Hot Springs and brought back a state runner-up trophy for their efforts. Bay ended 2015 with another championship as they beat EPC 64-40 for the NEA Invitational Tournament Division I title. During the NEA this year, Trumann native Bob Stotts was recognized as a Friend of the NEA.
The Democrat Tribune congratulates all the teams and individuals for their achievements and is looking forward to a great 2016 year of sports.