Blog Archives

Bielema misses chance to take high road

For the first time in a while, someone said something more controversial than Bret Bielema. Unfortunately, the University of Arkansas coach didn’t take advantage of it. He made it worse. Instead of taking the high road and making Texas Tech Coach Kliff Kingsbury look like the hothead, Bielema fired back at his weekly presser Monday. And the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette took full advantage of a slow sports-news day to blow up the feud with a huge front-page spread and story. The whole thing started when Bielema spoke at the Texas High School Coaches Association in July. According to the story’s timeline, “Bielema apparently rankles some coaches in Texas by saying his style of play should be equipped to handle Spread offenses without a fullback who throw the ball a lot.”

Sounds pretty benign and no mention of Texas Tech. Since Bielema took the job, he’s had to repeatedly comment on his more physical ball-control style compared to the up-tempo Spread and finesse of many of the other SEC programs. However, Kingsbury obviously took exception, and after his team beat Arkansas 35-24 on Sept. 19, he wasted no time bashing Bielema in the postgame presser. According to the Democrat-Gazette, Kingsbury “referenced … Read more >

LR Touchdown Club unveils speaker lineup

The Little Rock Touchdown Club unveiled its 2015 speaker list Aug. 11 in the lobby of the Simmons Bank Tower in downtown Little Rock. In its 12th year, the club again presents a mixture of speakers with Razorbacks ties, and former legendary NFL and college coaches and players.

University of Arkansas football Coach Bret Bielema kicks the season off with a Aug. 24 appearance downtown at the Little Rock Marriott.

In conjunction with the Razorbacks’ games against the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama, respectively, club creator David Bazzel is bringing in two former standout quarterbacks. Former Vol Heath Shuler will offer insight on his alma mater Sept. 28, and former Alabama signal caller Jay Barker, who hosts a radio show in Birmingham, Alabama, will preview the Alabama-UA matchup, among other topics, when speaking Oct. 5.

Bazzel says the complete lineup of Razorbacks induced into the SWC Hall of Fame will come Aug. 13, along with the unveiling of the awards banquet speaker, who Bazzel calls “one of football’s all-time greats.” Last year, former Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin spoke at the banquet, and the previous year was former UA and Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz.

Aug. 24: Bret … Read more >

A Q&A with University of Arkansas pitcher Jackson Lowery

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Reliever Jackson Lowery of Arkansas celebrates after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning against Missouri State Saturday, June 6, 2015, in the Super Regional at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE
Reliever Jackson Lowery of Arkansas celebrates after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning against Missouri State Saturday, June 6, 2015, in the Super Regional at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

The University of Arkansas baseball team has its share of stars. Sophomore outfielder Andrew Benintendi has won different national player of the year honors, junior outfielder Tyler Spoon is a four-year starter and a standout power hitter, Keaton McKinney was a freshman All-American pitcher, and All-SEC closer Zach Jackson has endeared Hogs fans by pitching more than three innings in a Super Regionals clinching game against Missouri State University Sunday, June 7.

However, the team is also loaded with a talented supporting class that has helped the Hogs dig out from a 1-5 start in the SEC to one of the more dangerous teams in the College World Series field. Senior relief pitcher Jackson Lowery, a Pulaski Academy alumnus, is one of those role players who has stood out. Lowery has notched a 7-1 record, mostly coming out of the bullpen, but in just the third start of his career, he led the Hogs to a 4-3 win against St. Johns Univeristy to clinch … Read more >

Hill signs with Ohio State as high school coach noticeably absent

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Photo by Gavin Lesnick North Little Rock’s K.J. Hill signed with Ohio State Wednesday.

North Little Rock standout receiver K.J. Hill signed with Ohio State University Wednesday without his high school coach, Brad Bolding, present. Rumors have swirled about Bolding’s job status for weeks, and his absence at the school’s signing day event was telling.
While North Little Rock School officials are mum on Bolding’s stratus, Hill and his stepfather Montez Peterson made it clear any alleged wrongdoing by Bolding didn’t include the recruitment of Hill contrary to rumors that have circulated on social media.
“They swear [Bolding] gave me money, but I didn’t get any money,” Hill told a throng of reporters shortly after he inked with the defending national champion Buckeyes. “That’s what they say. “People say he gave me money … I don’t know what the real situation is,” Hill says. “It’s all good, though.
“I’m not worried. People swore I couldn’t sign, but it is all good.”
North Little Rock’s silence and Hill’s decommitment from Arkansas last month has only fueled speculation that Hill’s recruitment is tied to Bolding’s troubles.
“Everything that we have done as parents and K.J. has done have been on the up … Read more >

Reflections on the great Razorback road trip

So, Justin Acri, Pat Brradley and I survived our Razorback road trip to Iowa and are now firmly implanted in our every day routines. After arriving home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I’ve had some time to reflect on one of the more epic trips I’ve taken.

Iowans love vanity license plates
I hadn’t pondered much on this in the 24 years I lived in the state. After eyeing our 1,000th different vanity tag, Pat made the observation, and Justin I agreed that a lot of Iowans have personalized plates. Of course, Pat’s favorite was Justin’s father Frank’s plates that read ‘F ACRI.’ If you don’t know why that’s funny, drop me a line.

Thick-or thin-crust pizza, I’m in
On Wednesday night, Justin, Pat and I and Justin’s college-aged brother and roommate struggled to take down two large pizzas at Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co. in Ames. Nestled in downtown Ames, it is a tradition. The pizza comes on thick crust and is piled high with cheese and toppings. The cheese and toppings kept me from eating more than three, and I should have stopped at two.
Contrast that with Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines that features … Read more >