High school coaches across the country hope to reach a state championship game. They dream about winning a state title.
Northside’s Rickey Smith and Southside’s Sherry White have done far more than just hope and dream.
They’ve done it. A lot.
Smith leads Northside into their ninth title game during his tenure. He’s won five titles. White is leading Southside to their first championship game during her time but she won five state titles between stops at Hot Springs and Harrison.
But it never gets old.
“They are all different,” White said. “It is hard to explain but yet it is very similar with the type of kids that I've had.”
“You back up and reflect on the opportunity to play for a state title nine times,” Smith said. “That's kind of unreal.”
Smith has won 522 games during his career. White has won 589.
When Friday arrives, they will have 15 championship game appearances combined. That is the most in the large school classification and it’s not even close.
“Our coaching staff has been very lucky,” Smith said. “We've won a few and we want to experience that with the kids and want our kids to know that feeling and excitement. Just know all that hard work pays off. You tell your kids from day one in August to work hard and do things the right way and hopefully it will pay off in the end.”
White said she never imagined winning a title, let alone coaching in six championship games.
“Never would you ever imagine that,” White said. “There are coaches that go through their whole coaching career that never get in and great coaches that never get to experience this. I don't know what I've done but its luck. It's a lot of luck.”
Despite all the wins they’ve racked up over the years, whoever wins on Friday will have the ultimate bragging rights. At least for the next year.