One of the things I love most about Arkansas is its small towns. You know the ones. A couple of stoplights, a gas station, tasty freeze and a country cookin’ diner. The high schoool football stadium is packed on Friday night and so are all of the churches on Sunday.
One of my favorites is Star City. Located between Pine Bluff and Monticello, it is a quaint, little Southeast Arkansas town.
I became very acquainted with it and the high school football program the five years I worked at the Pine Bluff Commercial. I covered at least two or three games there every year. The parking attendant recognized my car and sent me through a side gate to a spot right near the press box every time. The press box crew was nice and friendly, and called me by name after my first couple of visits.
I usually stopped and grabbed a bite to eat before the game or got gas on the way out of town. I always felt a friendly vibe. It reminded me a lot of my home area in Iowa. Many agricultural, down home folks. I even joked to my wife, Sheena, I would like … Read more >
Plenty of bitterness and hard feelings have come out of the Farmington/Prairie Grove rivalry dubbed — the Battle of Highway 62. The towns, which are located just seven miles a part outside of Fayetteville, engage in a fierce battle, whatever the sport.
However, Jeremy Mueller extended an olive branch. Instead of celebrating Farmington’s sure road win against its bitter rival in the final seconds, he made Tigers senior McKay Gregson’s dream come true.
With Prairie Grove trailing 64-55
Ty Gregson hugs his younger brother McKay after he hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer in his first game as a varsity player.
with just 10 seconds left in the game, Gregson, who has special needs and is the team’s manager, checked into the game. Since it was senior night, Gregson, who has served as manager since seventh grade, suited up for the first time.
Prairie Grove brought the ball up the floor and Gregson launched a three-pointer. It missed, and the game appeared to be over. However, Mueller grabbed the rebound and kicked the ball back out to Gregson, who drilled a long triple at the buzzer, making the score 64-58.
Even in the rivalry defeat, the home crowd cheered wildly … Read more >
David Bazzel got a text late Thursday afternoon. A perplexed friend inquired about social media posts he’d seen about Lou Holtz, who coached Bazzel at Arkansas, allegedly being spotted walking on Chenal Parkway in Little Rock. Other reports had the Hall of Fame coach spotted at the Walmart store at the corner of Bowman and Chenal Parkway.
Holtz, who was the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet, realized he hadn’t packed a dress shirt. Instead of asking his limo driver to take him to the nearest men’s store, the 77-year-old former Arkansas coach hiked up the hill and bought a shirt a shirt a white shirt and walked back to the Embassy Suites hotel.
“My dad always told me, don’t ask someone to do something you can do yourself,” he told the crowd Thursday night. “There are a lot of things in life I can’t do, butI can walk to a store and buy a shirt.”
That anecdote got the night off to a comedic start and it just got better from there.
Also before he took the mic,
Photo by Stephen B. Thornton/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Former Arkansas coach Lou Holtz’s speech at the Little Rock Touchdown
… Read more >
Bill Clinton will received a framed No 42 Arkansas jersey this weekend.
So, Arkansas isn’t retiring its No. 42 basketball jersey to honor Bill Clinton and his two terms as America’s 42nd President.
After Clinton made reference to the honor of a 42 jersey during an ESPN interview at a Brooklyn Nets game earlier this month, some outlets reported the number was going to be retried at an Arkansas home game this season.
An Arkansas spokesman acknowledged Clinton would be honored, and this week the U of A released a statement chronicling a Final Four celebration in which Clinton would receive a framed No. 42 jersey. No mention of retiring it.
Whether the school changed its mind after some took to social media to protest, or the interview was misinterpreted, it appears Sidney Moncrief’s No. 32 is still the only retired number.
The debate over Clinton’s number focused the attention on the fact the Hogs have a rich basketball tradition but only one retired number.
An opportunity to add to the list and appropriately retire another jersey was lost (unless it is a surprise). Former Hog Corliss Williamson, who helped Arkansas to the 1994 National Championship and the 1995 runner-up … Read more >
NWA Media File Photo
Rafe Peavey is one of several newcomers who should see the field next fall.
Will Arkansas coach Bret Bielema rebuild Arkansas into SEC Western Conference contender? It’s too early to tell. What is apparent, is it won’t happen for awhile.
Bielema and his staff inherited a bare cupboard and is having to utilize young players immediately to build a foundation.
Even before the bowl hopes were dashed completely last season, Bielema plugged young players into the lineup, and the trend increased as the season went on. More than 10 freshmen and redshirt freshmen saw regular action.
Expect more rookies to see the field again in 2014. It’s the first class that includes players solely recruited by Bielema, and he had plenty of time to find the best players to fit his system. Based on his willingness to throw freshmen into the fire last year, he will be quick to do it again as some of these prospects may be better than returning veterans.
Quarterback is one position that will almost certainly be manned by a true freshman. While four-star dual-threat quarterback Rafe Peavey could be an improvement over incumbent junior Brandon Allen, it won’t be easy … Read more >