Faulkner County football teams will get a chance to pound on people other than themselves early this week in a series of scrimmages/benefit games primarily for the Arkansas Activities Association’s catastrophic relief fund.
Four teams will be involved in three scrimmages at home.
Conway High will host Fort Smith Northside at 6 p.m. at Centennial Bank Field at John McConnell Stadium.
Vilonia will host Mayflower and Rogers in a set of jamboree-type scrimmages beginning with the junior high at 5:15 p.m. at Phillip Weaver Stadium.
Conway Christian will be the only team on the road with a scrimmage at 7 p.m. at Little Rock Episcopal.
Greenbrier hosted Central Arkansas Christian and Heber Springs in benefit contests Monday night. Results weren’t available at Log Cabin press time.
The Wampus Cats will begin play for a championship of Fort Smith of sorts. After the Northside scrimmage, they will host defending 7A champion Fort Smith Southside in their season-opener Sept. 3.
"Northside will bring in a good team, a lot of good athletes and it will be a good test," said Conway coach Clint Ashcraft.
The Cats primarily played younger and most inexperience players Saturday night in the Wampus Cat Steak-Out, a series on intrasquad scrimmages.
"That was by design," said Ashcraft. "Our older players will get most of the playing time against Northside."
The Eagles’ varsity will scrimmage Rogers for a half beginning at 7:15. Mayflower will then scrimmage Rogers, then Vilonia will cap the evening by scrimmaging Mayflower for a half.
"We’re tired of practicing; we need to play somebody," said Vilonia coach Jim Stanley.
After the benefit games, the Eagles will have to kick it into high gear. They will play Sylvan Hills in one of the first regular-season games in the state this season — at 5:30 p.m. Monday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
"We really haven’t worked on anything that Rogers and Mayflower do," Stanley said. "We’ll have to go out and adapt to what they are doing, which will be a good thing for both players and coaches.
"I am concerned about our conditioning. We haven’t worked as much on conditioning because it’s been so hot and we’ve really tried to be careful. But I know our players have worked awfully hard and we’re excited to see what they can do."
Mayflower is projected to have a rebuilding season after returning 10 starters from a 5-6 team last season. Mayflower is ranked 26th in preseason in 4A by Hootens.com
Tonight will have two major challenges for the Class 3A Eagles, who will play Rogers of 7A and Greenbrier of 5A.
The Eagles, a Class 2A team in its third year of AAA competition, will take on a 3A opponent in Episcopal.
"Episcopal had a good team last year and is supposed to be a top team in its 3A conference," said coach Chuck Speer. "It will be a good test. But we’re used to to playing up. We’ve played up in most of our non-conference games the last two years. We think that’s a way you get better."