FFN Countdown Day 23: Gravette Lions

gravette lions

Coach: Bill Harrelson
Conference: 4A-1
2012: 4-7, 3-4
Returning Starters: 7 OFF/8 DEF

2013 Schedule
Sept. 6    at Lamar
Sept. 13  at Booneville
Sept. 20  at Siloam Springs
Sept. 27  Pea Ridge
Oct. 4      at Gentry
Oct. 11    Ozark
Oct. 18    Farmington
Oct. 25    at Lincoln
Nov. 1      at Berryville
Nov. 8     Prairie Grove

Success has been a constant at Gravette in recent history. That makes last season a rare occurrence.

The Lions failed to win at least nine games for the first time since 2006 but the return of 15 starters bodes well for Bill Harrelson’s squad.

“We know what the low feels like,” senior Anthony Dozier said. “Now let’s feel the high this year.”

“I think we just need to go out there and do what we are coached and play as hard as we can,” senior Jacob Taylor said.

Cody Robinson returns after rushing for 800 yards and six touchdowns last season. Receiver Shay Shimer also returns after catching 37 passes for nearly 500 yards and four scores in 2012.

The number of starters coming back is good reason for Harrelson to be optimistic.

“We’ve got 19 seniors so we’ve got quite a bit of experience back out here,” Harrelson said. “Quite a bit of leadership so we are expecting a lot out of those guys.”

The Lions lost their final two games last season but the expectations remain the same.

“Our expectations are to make the playoffs,” Harrelson said. “That’s always our first goal and expectation and then we work from there to conference championship, state championship.”

“Playoffs first like coach was saying then state championship. Always,” said Dozier.

Gravette opens the season with three straight road games, starting with Lamar on Sept. 6.