Perhaps one of the state’s best high school football games of the season occurred last night, gently tucked away at Conway Christian.
The Eagles third loss to Mount Ida in consecutive seasons in the playoffs didn’t disappoint, but it capped the end of the football season in Faulkner County.
Unfortunately, this time of year seems like teams fall off one by one, leading to the football spectrum getting more miniscule as the winter season draws nearer.
Basketball season has already begun as teams are playing nonconference games or tournaments, but I wanted to reflect on football season, the first with me in position as sports editor.
The focus on football started near the end of July when Faulkner County coaches came in to the Log Cabin Democrat office for the annual football tab we do.
The football tab was the first one of mine to be written, carrying on the tradition of the late and great David McCollum.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to edit and upload the videos from those interviews because the writing for the tab was quite consuming.
Then, the season’s first game I covered was Conway and El Dorado.
What started the season was a classic as those two teams played into double overtime, pushing up against our 10:30 p.m. deadline.
That game was the start of an exciting season that was capped off by a classic Friday at Conway Christian.
Four new coaches began their positions, each with varying outcomes and outcomes that those coaches probably would have liked to advance past what actually occurred.
Nathan Brown’s University of Central Arkansas Bears finished 5-4 in a muddy, crowded Southland Conference.
Keith Fimple’s Conway Wampus Cats finished the season 10-3, with three of those losses coming against either a conference champion or a team that is playing in the state finals.
Todd Langrell’s Vilonia Eagles came close to a playoff spot after winning just one game last season with the previous coach.
Austin Emerson’s Mayflower Eagles finished 11-2, blowing out most every team except Glen Rose and Rison.
It was also a season filled with tough circumstances for quarterback play at the collegiate level.
Both UCA and Hendrix lost their starting quarterbacks to season-ending injuries early in the season.
Warriors lost junior Preseason All-American Miles Thompson to a torn labrum in the second game of the season, while the Bears lost sophomore quarterback Breylin Smith to a broken ankle in the second SLC game of the season.
The loss of Thompson for Hendrix sent the Warriors in turmoil, while UCA eventually went on a three-game losing streak toward the end of the season before winning the season’s final game.
A team that hasn’t been mentioned yet is Greenbrier, who went 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the 5A West.
Overall, it was a great season of football for many teams.
Hope is alive in Vilonia, multiple schools did well in their coaches first season and others continued winning traditions.
Conway Christian’s loss Friday culminated what was a great season of football.
Unfortunately, it ended prematurely for many schools but it was a fun season to cover football in the county.