Class 5A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 0, 2023

Class 5A Rankings, Picks and Notes, Week 0, 2023

Share this article Class 5A Rankings

Week 0, 2023

1. LR Parkview

2. Pine Bluff

3. Shiloh Christian

4. Mills

5. Valley View

6. Joe T. Robinson

7. Farmington

8. Hot Springs

9. Nettleton

10. Camden Fairview

11. Prairie Grove

12. Morrilton

13. White Hall

14. Wynne

15. Alma

16. Batesville

17. Harrison

18. Magnolia

19. Southside

20. Maumelle

21. Texarkana

22. Forrest City

23. Beebe

24. HS Lakeside

25. Vilonia

26. Dardanelle

27. Pea Ridge

28. Brookland

29. Hope

30. Watson Chapel

31. Clarksville

32. Paragould

33. De Queen


No. 10 Camden Fairview at Class 4A NO. 7 ARKADELPHIA

Camden Fairview has beaten Arkadelphia in 5 of the 7 meetings, but Arkadelphia notched a 14-point decision last season when both Camden Fairview and Arkadelphia advanced to the semifinals in their respective classifications.

Camden Fairview has 78 players on its roster this fall. Coach Nick Vaughn says his young offensive line developed over the summer and could turn into a team strength. The secondary, led by senior safety JaBauree Lockhart (74 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries and 1 INT in 2022) and senior CB Matt Davis (40 tackles, 2 interceptions) should be a strong point this fall.

Arkadelphia, with 62 players on its roster, scrimmaged Class 6A Lake Hamilton last week. Senior 3-year lineman KD Young impressed in the offseason. DB Nick Williams, Kelbern Middleton and linebackers Chase Vantilborg and Kaden Brown solidify the defense.

LAST YEAR correctly predicted 180 of 213 (85 percent) of games involving Class 5A teams.

WEEK 0 PREDICTIONS (favored team in ALL CAPS and highlighted) 


Class 6A PULASKI ACADEMY at No. 6 Joe T. Robinson: These teams open the season for the fourth consecutive year (PA won the past 3 by a combined 72 points). Pulaski Academy QB Brandon Cobb tallied 3 TDs in last week's benefit scrimmage loss to Bryant. Joe T. Robinson junior QB Quentin Murphy owns Division I offers from most SEC schools.

No. 2 PINE BLUFF at Grenada, Miss.: Grenada lost its final 4 games last season and the Chargers haven't advanced to the playoffs since 2020. Pine Bluff, which has failed to make the playoffs the past 2 years, enters this season with high expectations and returning starters at 13 positions. The district absorbs Dollarway this fall, which increases Pine Bluff's numbers and expectations. Receivers Courtney Crutchfield and Austyn Dendy both own Division I offers.

No. 8 HOT SPRINGS at Vilonia: Hot Springs enters the season with high expectations and starters back at 15 positions. Vilonia has 68 players on the team this fall. Coach Todd Langrell says safety Hunter Wells, DE Jakob Bullock and running back Kainon Shaw played well in the summer. Hot Springs put 65 players through summer workouts and the Trojans scrimmaged Class 3A Glen Rose. QB Matthew Contreras, WR Octavious Rhodes, WR T.J. Brogdon and RB Perry Jones played well in fall camp.

Morrilton at Class 6A RUSSELLVILLE: Russellville has won 13 of the past 17 in the series. Morrilton put 58 players through preseason workouts and scrimmaged Conway last week. NG Luke Garrett presents problems with his quickness. Russellville Coach Dave Wheeler says the Cyclones will bank on an improved OL in 2023.

Class 6A Sylvan Hills at MAUMELLE: Maumelle has topped Sylvan Hills the past 3 seasons in the season-opener, including a 28-27 win a season ago in overtime. That defeat spiraled Sylvan Hills, which missed the postseason for the first time since 2011. Sylvan Hills shifted during the offseason from former coach Chris Hill's preferred Flexbone to the multiple offense schemed by first-year coach and Sylvan Hills alum Jason Houle. Offensive lineman Jaden White stood out in summer drills, per Houle. Maumelle's starters generated several big plays last week in a  47-28 scrimmage loss at Marion.

BEEBE at Class 6A Jacksonville: Beebe has beaten Jacksonville the past 3 seasons, including 43-6 last season. Jacksonville enters the season with a 14-game losing streak after going 0-10 in 2022, the school's first winless season since at least 1956. All-conference performers Kentrell Thompson and Lamonz Brown anchor the Titans this fall. Jacksonville's expected starting QB moved to Fordyce in the summer, while Beebe's top running back from last season moved to Texas. Beebe will rely on defense early this fall, with all-league DL Garrison Waldrop and all-state LB Jaxcen Marsh (121 tackles in 2022). 

Class 6A Sheridan at WHITE HALL: The past 3 Highway 270 trophies have gone to White Hall, including 27-24 last year. First-year Coach Tyler Turner takes over Sheridan after serving as an assistant at Sylvan Hills. Turner has earned a reputation as a builder of programs at previous stops in Mississippi. Five Yellowjackets return as starters in 2023, including QB Brady Dillon, tailback/linebacker C.J. Dollarhide, Payton Sterritt, Ricky Johnson, and Jake Smith. Teammates installed Dollarhide, C.J. Davis, Parker Ramsey, Smith, and Sterritt as team captains. Jason Mitchell takes over as White Hall's head coach after the death of coach Ryan Mallett in late June. White Hall returns starters at 19 positions. 

Watson Chapel at TEXARKANA: Watson Chapel snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 48-0 win over Texarkana in last year's opener. But the Wildcats didn't win another game. Coach Maurice Moody says 32 players completed fall camp. Returning all-conference offensive guards Jaquan Crockett and Quentin Hines played well in summer competitions. 

Class 4A Blytheville at MILLS. This game was a late addition to the schedule. Blytheville alum Jett Howard takes over as the Chickasaws third coach in as many seasons. All-state RB Tim Brown (1,468 yards, 18 TDs last year) powers the offense. Mills Coach Cortez Lee says OT Nick Carter, receiver Dylan Parks and S Kammarrion Jefferson all played well in the preseason.


No. 5 Valley View at Class 4A No. 4 HARDING ACADEMY: Class 4A Game of the Week. 

These teams have split their 2 meetings, with Valley View winning by 1 point 2 years ago and Harding Academy winning by 16 points last season. Valley View has 75 players on its roster. Coach Sean Cockrell says senior QB Carson Turley had a good summer, along with WR Andrew Jones (son of ASU head coach Butch Jones) and LB Brian Huff (Missouri commit). Turley passed for 1,879 yards and 18 TDs last season, and ran for 839 yards and 11 TDs.

Harding Academy has played in 4 consecutive state title games. The Wildcats put 48 players through preseason workouts and held an intrasquad scrimmage last week. Senior free safety Alex Jones performed well during the summer, Coach Neil Evans says. Senior linebacker Wyatt Simmons (84 tackles, 6 sacks in 2022) committed to Arkansas on Aug. 19. Junior QB Owen Miller started every game last fall, passing for 3,677 yards and 38 TDs.

Class 6A Mountain Home at NO. 9 NETTLETON: Nettleton has topped Mountain Home in 8 of the past 9 meetings,  including 49-39 a year ago. Mountain Home has made the quarterfinals in each of Coach Steve Ary's 3 seasons in Baxter County, but Mountain Home has not qualified for the semifinals since it finished as state runners-up in 2006. All-conference QB Cade Yates, defensive end Robert Dover, and linebacker Ty Hannaford anchor the Bombers this fall. Nettleton finished fall camp with 55 players. Coach Steven Hampton says junior QB Maddox Hampton, sophomore athlete T.J. Brown, senior WR Quadarius Thompson, junior DT Keon Stallings, senior center Zach Davis and senior OT Garrett Campbell performed well in the summer.

Wynne at CLASS 6A NO. 8 MARION: These teams have met every season since 1969 with Wynne holding a 34-12-1 series advantage. Marion topped Wynne 24-21 on the game's final play in 2021 but later forfeited that win because it was ruled to have used an ineligible player. Wynne topped Marion 21-10 a season ago. Marion is 7-2 against Wynne at home since 2005.

This is Wynne's first game under veteran coach Clay Totty, who guided Rison to state titles in 2000 and 2004. Totty ranks 11th on the state's all-time win list with 242. This is also Wynne's first game since a tornado ravaged the town and its high school in late March, leading to the departure of at least 10 players leaving the program during the offseason. Senior quarterback John Watson returns to trigger the 2023 Yellowjackets offense while senior Brayden Mattox starts a fourth season as the team's kicker while helping at slotback. Abdul Fall and Camerson Smith are returning starters for a defense that surrendered 3 touchdowns or fewer 8 times last fall.

Marion enters the 2023 season with more than 80 players on its roster, including 16 returning starters. Five starters return on the offensive line, a unit rated as the best in the 6A East by Hooten's Arkansas Football. Marion features all-conference performers at right tackle (Aqeelo Allen) and left guard (Carter Benton), while senior Jermaine Davis anchors right guard and junior Charlie Cantrell plays center. Most notable is left tackle Carius Curne, who earned 10 Division I scholarship offers during the offseason, including from 2-time defending national Champion Georgia, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. Marion senior Jermiah Miller joined the team during the offseason and impressed at linebacker. The first-team Marion offense produced 4 touchdown drives with 1 punt in last week's 47-28 victory over Maumelle in a benefit scrimmage. Taheim Frost and Victor Turner returned fumbles for TDs against the Hornets.

Batesville at CLASS 6A SEARCY: Batesville snapped a 7-game losing streak to Searcy in last year's 40-39 victory in the season-opener. Searcy started last year 1-5, but won 3 of its final 4 games to make the playoffs for a 14th consecutive season. Seven defensive starters return for Searcy, including 3-year starter Gabe Osmon, all-league linebacker Jace Garcia, cornerback Trayvion Coleman, and senior safety Dash Stevenson, who missed last season with injury.

SOUTHSIDE at Pocahontas: Pocahontas has won 4 consecutive in the series by a total of 68 points. Former coordinator Casey Chester takes over as Pocahontas' coach. The Redskins have won at least 8 games each of the past 4 years. Southside has 44 players on its roster and the Southerners scrimmaged Class 3A Melbourne last week. 

Brookland at JONESBORO WESTSIDE: Jonesboro Westside has won 9 of its 11 games against Brookland. The Warriors put 38 players through fall camp. Senior QB Colton Carter, TE Jordan Hall, center Tyler Watlington, RT Tyler Felts performed well in the summer. Brookland enters with momentum after winning its final 2 games last season.

Paragould at CLASS 6A GREENE COUNTY TECH: Greene County Tech has won 4 in a row in the "Battle for the Bell," including the past 2 by a combined score of 100-0. Starters return at 8  positions for the 2023 Golden Eagles, who are in search of their second playoff victory and first since 2009 (28-24 at Magnolia). Paragould has won 3 games total since the start of 2018.


Camden Fairview at ARKADELPHIA: Class 5A Game of the Week.

NO. 1 LR PARKVIEW at Class 7A No. 13 Springdale Har-ber: Defending 5A state champion Parkview won this matchup last year 46-28. This year, with a championship to defend, and 12 of 22 starters back, Parkview will rely on returning QB Eric McGehee (2,102 passing, 24 TDs) and star RB Cameron Settles, who had 1,019 yards on 145 carries with 9 TDs. Coach Brad Bolding says Settles would be a “2,800-yard” back if he were the Patriots’  only running back. Parkview’s defense, with Brad’s brother Bobby running it, gave up 16 points per game and 11.7 points when not facing 7A foes. Har-ber will be rebuilding this year as Missouri Hall of Fame Coach Brett Eckley replaces longtime coach Chris Wood.

HOT SPRINGS at Vilonia: Hot Springs enters the season with high expectations and starters back at 15 positions.  Vilonia has 68 players on the team this fall. Coach Todd Langrell says safety Hunter Wells, DE Jakob Bullock and RB Kainon Shaw played well in the summer. Hot Springs put 65 players through summer workouts and the Trojans scrimmaged Class 3A Glen Rose. QB Matthew Contreras, WR Octavious Rhodes, WR T.J. Brogdon and RB Perry Jones played well in fall camp.

CLASS 4A NASHVILLE at Magnolia: Nashville advanced to the semifinals last season for the first time since 2015. The Scrappers drilled 55 players in the fall, and senior RB Tre Hopkins impressed opposing coaches in summer team camps. Coach Mike Volarvich says defensive linemen Omari Benson, Fernando Perez, Zaccheus Harris and Makhi Johnson played well in the summer. Magnolia has 64 players on its roster. Antonio Brooks and Daylon Glass continue battling at QB, and the OL/DL had a good summer, Coach Mark King says.

Hot Springs Lakeside at CLASS 6A LAKE HAMILTON: Lake Hamilton has opened the season with a victory over Garland County rival Hot Springs Lakeside 5 consecutive times, including 47-20 last year. The Wolves have won 38 times over the past 3  seasons, but only 4  starters return in 2023, including 1  on defense (lineman Josh Brooks). Senior all-conference QB Easton Hurley spearheads a Lake Hamilton offense that scored more than 33 points per game last fall. Hurley had a strong offseason. "We have some guys who can catch it," Lake Hamilton Coach Tommy Gilleran says.



ALMA at Class 6A Van Buren: Van Buren has won the "Battle of the Bone" in 4 of the past 7 meetings, but Alma took the trophy last year with a 27-7 win. Twelve starters return for Van Buren, including all-league QB Bryce Perkins and 3-year starting center Chasen Thibodeaux on offense and top tackler Peyton Pschier at linebacker.

Class 6A Greenbrier at FARMINGTON: A 49-20 loss in last year's season-opener to Farmington and season-ending injuries to 8 starters before league play opened doomed Greenbrier to a 2-8 final record, the Panthers' worst mark since finishing 1-9 in 2008. Two-way playmakers Eli Weaver, Lawson Worthy, and Eric Huett impressed Greenbrier coaches during summer workouts.

Class 7A Springdale at HARRISON: Harrison is no stranger to playing 7A West foes. The Goblins beat Springdale and Class 6A Mountain Home last season and scrimmaged Class 7A Rogers last week. Coach Chris Keylon says 57 players went through fall camp. Senior QB Mason Ketterman, senior RB Braden Long, senior LB Tag Glidewell all emerged as playmakers in the summer.

PEA RIDGE at Gravette: These are former conference foes. Pea Ridge beat Gravette by 7 points last season, as the Blackhawks won 3 games, their most since 2019. Senior QB Gavin Dixon, a 3-year starter, passed for 1,894 yards and 22 TDs a year ago. Gravette won 6 games last year, its best record since 2017. The Lions rely on seasoned linemen this fall. Gravette has won 8 of the past 15 in the series.

DARDANELLE at Hall Steam: Dardanelle, which has 34 players on its roster, won its first meeting over Hall Steam last season 43-7. Seniors Jacob Freeman and Cameron Heflin enjoyed good summer workouts and emerged as leaders. 

CLASS 4A OZARK at Clarksville: Ozark scrimmaged Alma last week with 45 players. First-year QB Koby Wilbanks played well in the summer, and LT/DT Charlie Vandenberg was physical in preseason workouts. Clarksville has 40 players on its roster, and the Panthers scrimmaged Green Forest last week.  

OPEN Shiloh Christian

Share this article

Have your say

Feel free to take part in the discussion! Please be nice and do not include any abusive comments or spam. All comments are moderated and reserves the right to delete any comment.