Class 5A Week 0 Rankings, Notes & Picks
Hootens.com Class 5A Rankings
Week 0, 2022
1. LR Parkview
2. Joe T. Robinson
3. Shiloh Christian
5. Camden Fairview
8. Valley View
13. Prairie Grove
16. Pine Bluff
17. White Hall
19. Hot Springs
20. HS Lakeside
27. Watson Chapel
28. Pea Ridge
32. Forrest City
33. De Queen
HOOTENS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 2 Joe T. Robinson at Class 6A No. 2 Pulaski Academy
These teams open the season for the third consecutive year (PA won the past two by a combined 46 points). The Bruins bump to Class 6A this fall, seeking their fourth state title in a row and eighth in nine years. Senior WR Jaylin McKinney played well in last week's scrimmage vs. Class 7A powerhouse Bryant. McKinney caught 74 passes last fall for 1,379 yards and 15 TDs and averaged 14 yards per carry. Senior two-time all-state left tackle Allen Thomason and defensive lineman Romelo Bell (60 tackles last season) played well in against Bryant. Joe T. Robinson jumps to Class 5A after winning two of the past three Class 4A state titles. Senators senior LB Ashtyn Williams (169 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 forced fumbles in 2021) played well in the summer, Coach Todd Eskola says. Sophomore QB Quinton Murphy, who owns scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin, ran for a TD in last week's scrimmage vs. Lonoke.
Hootens.com correctly predicted 179 of 202 games (89 percent) involving 5A teams.
WEEK 0 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS)
Hootens.com Class 5A Game of the Week. Joe T. Robinson at PULASKI ACADEMY (9)
Jacksonville at BEEBE (7): Beebe has beaten Jacksonville the past four meetings (2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021). Jacksonville named Eric Allen as its third coach in four months in April. Allen, a former LR Christian assistant, implemented a Spread scheme after the Titans focused on a power running attack the past two years.
Forrest City at MILLS (20): Mills bumps to the 5A Central this fall after winning 11 games over the past two seasons. But the Comets (46 players on the roster) feature at least three Division I prospects this fall, including running back Jabrae Shaw, who has committed to UCA. Coach Cortez Lee says senior skill players Q.J. King and Daniel Brown played well in summer camp. Former Pine Bluff assistant Ronald Lewis takes over at Forrest City's third coach in as many seasons. The Mustangs have won three games in two seasons.
Vilonia at HOT SPRINGS (5): Vilonia shifts from the West into the Central this fall with 68 players on the roster. Coach Todd Langrell says senior QB Wesley McKissack and WR Jack Vines played well in fall camp. Hot Springs had 64 players complete fall camp. Hot Springs junior QB Matthew Contreras passed for more than 350 yards and 5 TDs in last week's scrimmage vs. Glen Rose, while senior LB Jayvion Walker had 9 tackles, including 2 TFL. Senior guard Josiah Danner and linebacker Jayvion Walker played well in the summer.
WHITE HALL (7) at Class 6A Sheridan: These teams play for the Highway 270 trophy. White Hall has won two consecutive in the series, including last season 41-0. Former Arkansas Razorbacks and NFL QB Ryan Mallett succeeds Bobby Bolding as Bulldogs coach. White Hall’s defense held Stuttgart to one TD in the first half of last week's scrimmage, but the White Hall offense failed to score. Sheridan has 12 wins over the past six seasons. Yellowjackets senior QB Jarrett Atchley ran 9 times for 70 yards and a TD in last week's scrimmage at Malvern.
Maumelle at SYLVAN HILLS (4): Former Joe T. Robinson defensive coordinator Brian Maupin takes over at Maumelle with 60 players on the roster. Maupin says senior QB Weston Pierce, senior RB Jordan Chandler, senior TE Amarie Rogers, senior CB Trevon Rawls and sophomore DL Kayden Sherman played well in the summer. Maumelle's offense sputtered in last week's scrimmage vs. Marion, with the varsity making four first downs in the first half. Sylvan Hills ended last season by losing three of its final four games. Senior lineman Braden Crowley played well in the off-season.
Texarkana at WATSON CHAPEL (1) (Thursday): Maurice Moody, who took LR McClellan to two state 5A runner-up finishes, takes over at Watson Chapel with 52 players on the roster. Junior skill player Marquez Brentley, RB Thomas Knowles, WR Jeremiah Crump, DE K.J. Sims, and CB T.J. Jackson played well in the summer, Moody says. Trey Outlaw succeeds Barry Norton (32-30 record in five years) at Texarkana.
Morrilton at Class 6A RUSSELLVILLE (4): Russellville has won 12 of the past 16 in the series, including two consecutive by a total of 35 points. Morrilton went 3-7 last season, but Coach Cody McNabb drilled 55 players in the summer. Senior QB Damarius Mart, RB/WR Terrell Garlington, senior WR Kaleb McCuien, senior OT Noah Tindall and safety Jackson Dixon played well in fall camp.
Pine Bluff is open.
Class 6A SEARCY (8) at Batesville: This is the 23rd consecutive meeting between these teams. Batesville first-year coach Ryan Morrow drilled 60 players in fall camp. Batesville's offensive line and three tailbacks played well in last week's scrimmage against Greenbrier, Morrow says. Searcy junior RB Dede Johnson (1,974 yards, 21 TDs) and receiver Caleb Cunningham (19 receptions, 284 yards) spearhead the offense.
Class 4A JONESBORO WESTSIDE (3) at Brookland: Jonesboro Westside had 42 players complete fall camp. Junior center Tyler Watlington, sophomore RB Clay McMellon and senior RB/LB Connor Crain played well in the summer, Coach Bobby Engle says. Mark Hindsley takes over as Brookland's fourth coach since the varsity program debuted 10 years ago. Hindsley led Newport to a 54-28 record over the past seven seasons.
Forrest City at MILLS (20): See game preview above.
Class 6A GREENE CO. TECH (14) at Paragould: This game was traditionally played as the regular-season finale in Week 10 but moved to the first game this fall with GCT's rise to Class 6A. The winner gets the Bell Trophy, which was introduced into the rivalry in 1999. Greene County Tech has won 16 of the past 28 meetings. David Gunn left ministry work in the winter to take over at Paragould. Gunn previously coached at LR McClellan and assisted at Arkansas State and Auburn.
NETTLETON (2) at Class 6A Mountain Home: Defending 5A East champion Nettleton (60 players on its roster) returns starters at nine positions this fall, including DL Jordan Pigram, LB Blake Brown and RB Ke'Andre Pope played well in the summer, Coach Steven Hampton says. The Raiders have won seven of the past eight in the series. Mountain Home has 19, including QB Brady Barnett, WR Dillon Drewry and OT Elijah Lagg.
Class 4A Harding Academy at VALLEY VIEW (1): These teams played for the first time last season, with Valley View intercepting a pass in the end zone in the final seconds to preserve a 31-30 triumph. Blazers coach Sean Cockrell drilled 70 players in fall camp, when junior LB Brian Huff and senior CBs De'Kwon Gallaway and Jay Morman played well. Harding Academy bumps to Class 4A after winning four 3A titles in a row. Harding Academy's returning all-state QB quit in the summer to focus on baseball. Sophomore QB Owen Miller took snaps in July. Junior RB/WR Wyatt Simmons and sophomore center Kaynan Harris played well in fall camp.
Class 6A MARION (2) at Wynne: Wynne has won six of the past nine in the series (last year via forfeit), with six games in that span decided by six points or less. The Yellowjackets lead the all-time series 33-12-1, and Marion has won twice at Wynne since 2008. Wynne has 47 players on its roster, including senior SS Allen Jones, who started at FB as a sophomore but missed last year with a knee injury. Marion put 74 players through fall camp. Marion senior WR Donnie Cheers III caught 4 passes for 80 yards and 2 TDs in last week's scrimmage at Maumelle.
Class 4A POCAHONTAS (6) at Southside: Pocahontas has won three straight in the series by a total of 47 points. Pocahontas drilled 52 players in summer workouts, highlighted by senior QB/LB Connor Baker and linebacker Reed Bigger. Coach Charles Baty says senior WR Tripp Risley, senior Bishop Percell, senior NG Braden Vancil and senior RB Grayson Maupin performed well in the summer. Southside bumps to Class 5A this season, as Kenny Simpson returns as head coach (previously coached the Southerners from 2011-2019). Senior QB Cole Duncan spearheads the offense, and linebacker will be the strength of the defense, Simpson says.
Texarkana at WATSON CHAPEL (1) (Thursday): See game preview above.
Class 4A ARKADELPHIA (2) at Camden Fairview: Nick Vaughn, son of former Hazen and White Hall coach Mike Vaughn, succeeds Jake Monden as Camden Fairview's coach. Vaughn drilled 78 players in fall camp, with senior slot receiver Aaron Alsobrook and senior DE D.J. King playing well. Arkadelphia has 55 players, including senior playmakers (QB Donovan Whitten and WR Lantonnieo Hughes). The Badgers expect an improved defense to carry them this fall, with LBS Marveon Berry and Cade McBride.
Class 4A MENA (7) at De Queen: These teams have split the past 22 meetings, with Mena winning five in a row by a total of 159 points. Mena overhauled its schemes in the off-season and plans to run the Flexbone and a three-front defense this fall. Former Dierks coach Jarrod Fannin takes over at De Queen, becoming the sixth coach in 14 years. The Leopards have posted a 1-18 record the past two years.
Vilonia at HOT SPRINGS (5): See game preview above.
Class 6A LAKE HAMILTON (17) at HS Lakeside: This is the fifth consecutive meeting between these Garland County rivals since the series resumed after a 17-year hiatus. Lake Hamilton has won the past four by a combined 159-79. Lake Hamilton has won 29 games over the past three seasons, while HS Lakeside has 20. The Rams had 61 players in fall camp, when junior TE Skylar Purifoy and senior LB Diego Robledo played well, Coach Jared McBride says. HS Lakeside played Nashville to a 21-21 tie going into halftime of its scrimmage game.
Class 7A SPRINGDALE HAR-BER (1) at LR Parkview: These teams have never played. Har-Ber, coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time, returns starters at 13 positions, including QB Luke Buchanan and RB Hudson Brewer. The Wildcats drilled around 70 players in the summer. LR Parkview expects to contend for a state title dropping from Class 6A. The Patriots put 130 players (including 50 freshmen) through fall camp. Sophomore Cameron Settles played well in the summer and “has a chance to be the best running back I've coached,” Coach Brad Bolding says. The Patriots trailed LR Catholic 21-7 at halftime of its scrimmage game.
MAGNOLIA (11) at Class 4A Nashville: Magnolia put 74 players through “the best summer since I've been here,” says fourth-year coach Mark King. Senior RB Garrion “B.J.” Curry ran for 1,127 yards and 12 TDs a year ago. Nashville was tied with HS Lakeside 21-21 at halftime of its scrimmage game.
Hope is open.
Class 6A VAN BUREN (4) at Alma (Tuesday): Alma has won 7 of the past 11 in the “Battle of the Bone,’’ but Van Buren has won the past four in the series, including the past two by a combined 46 points. Mo Henry moves from defensive coordinator to head coach at Van Buren, where his son, senior WR Malachi Henry (1,150 yards, 17 TDs in 2021) could emerge as one of the state's top playmakers. Alma third-year coach Rusty Bush put 49 players through fall camp. Senior QB Joe Trusty, OL Zane Hurlburt and CB Braxton Kilgore played well in summer camps.
Clarksville at Class 4A OZARK (6): Ozark, which beat Clarksville 14-13 in overtime last season, has 49 players on its roster. Senior QB Landon Wright, RB Eli Masingale and linemen Charlie Van DenBurg, Rylie Griffin and Jonathan Hurt all played well in the summer. Clarksville senior RB Arthur Alvarez ran for more than 1,200 yards last season.
FARMINGTON (2) at Class 6A Greenbrier: Farmington played well in last week's scrimmage vs. Van Buren. Sophomore RBs Luke Elsik and Russell Hodge ran the ball well, while senior Peyton Funk had more 200 yards in the two-quarter scrimmage. Greenbrier bumps to Class 6A this fall after winning 12 games and the 5A West title last fall.
HARRISON (1) at Class 7A Springdale: Harrison first-year coach Chris Keylon had 53 players complete fall camp. The Goblins will rely on a stout offensive line. Receivers Talon Stephens, J. Henry Brandt and Caleb Brumley played well in the summer, while DE Abe Estes and LBs Tristan Thompson and Taggart Glidewell are expected to contribute this fall on defense.
Class 4A Gravette at PEA RIDGE (12): These are former 1-4A conference opponents. Gravette has nine wins over the past four seasons, including two one-win campaigns (2018 and 2021). Pea Ridge (consecutive one-win seasons) has 60 players on its roster. Junior QB Gavin Dixon played well in the summer and in the scrimmage game, Coach Brey Cook says.
DARDANELLE (17) at Class 4A LR Hall: This is the first meeting between these teams. Dardanelle, with 33 players, moves up to Class 5A this fall after winning 59 games the past six seasons. Senor QB Drew Vega accounted for 2,515 yards and 32 TDs a year ago. Senior WR Dakota Rich, OT Brayden Moore, center Asher Hodges and junior NG Jacob Freeman played well in the summer. LR Hall, which played at the state's largest classification until two years ago, drops into Class 4A. The Warriors played 8-man football last fall.
Prairie Grove and Shiloh Christian are open.