Fayetteville Embraces Being the Team to Beat
There are hundreds of teams in Arkansas high school football and nobody has a bigger bull’s eye on their back than the Fayetteville Bulldogs. They’re the number 1 overall ranked team, the defending State Champions, with three guys already committed to the Razorbacks. They’re trying to make sure this season that target stays big.
“We know what to expect,” said Arkansas quarterback commit Austin Allen. “The 7A West is the best conference in Arkansas. We know we have to get better every day. Going in each week we’re going to play a quality opponent. We can’t overlook anyone because we could get beat any given week.”
The first three games before the 7A west starts will be as tough as any. Fayetteville plays Memphis University Thursday in Razorback Stadium to start the season. Head coach Daryl Patton even said they could be 0-3 going in to conference. Even if that happens, Fayetteville won’t panic.
“The regular season’s important but it’s important to be playing well when you get to week 11,” said head coach Daryl Patton. “So we’re not going to worry about it. If we have a bad game and someone just beats us, we’re going to shake their hands and tell them congratulations and get ready for the next week.”
That’s what they did last year. Fayetteville lost two conference games to Har-Ber and Bentonville but played perfect in November and won a state championship, getting revenge on Bentonville in the title game. Between that and having three Arkansas commits in Austin Allen, Brooks Ellis and Alex Brignoni, Fayetteville is the one team everybody wants to beat.
“Teams can look at it that way,” said Arkansas safety commit Alex Brignoni. “But me, Brooks and Austin, we try to just focus on our team right now and what we want to achieve and that’s winning another state title. As long as we get that we can worry about the future after.”
“We just focus on what’s in the present and realize that all of our opponents are going to be great teams and we’ve got to take them one step at a time,” said Arkansas linebacker commit Brooks Ellis.
“Don’t worry about the rankings and the publicity,’ said Patton. “You come out and try to win each day, each play. If we do that and try to win each play of each game then we’re going to have a chance to be very competitive and we’ll have a chance to win.”