FFN Countdown Day 2: Bentonville Tigers
Coach: Barry Lunney
2012: 12-1, 7-0
Returning Starters: 5 OFF/4 DEF
Sept. 6 at Rockhurst, Mo.
Sept. 13 Broken Arrow, Okla.
Sept. 20 Euless Trinity, Texas
Sept. 27 Har-Ber
Oct. 4 at Siloam Springs
Oct. 11 Rogers
Oct. 18 at Heritage
Oct. 25 Van Buren
Nov. 1 Springdale
Nov. 8 at Fayetteville
There’s been a sting in the Bentonville locker room the last two years. The Tigers have had undefeated regular seasons only to lose to Fayetteville in the state title game, a team they’d already beaten earlier in the year.
“When the subject comes up it’s real serious,” said Bentonville senior defensive tackle Jared Conover. “Everyone wants it this year. We are all seniors. A few of us have made the trip to Little Rock. This year we want to come home with the state championship. “
Every season Bentonville graduates super star talent. Last year it was the 7A West’s all-time leading rusher Tearris Wallace. Despite all the departures, the Tigers are predicted to win the conference, again.
“We always have backups,” said senior wide receiver Jimmie Jackson. “Every year we reload. It’s a process of us getting better every year.”
They also replace a senior quarterback for the second straight year. This time it is Jake Slocum’s turn to lead the state title charge.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure on us,” said Slocum. “But we’re confident and ready to go. We just want to get back there and win it.”
There’s a reason why Bentonville has been so successful. The coaching staff puts the kids in position to win.
“Our job as coaches is to take the abilities each player has and mold it together,” said head coach Barry Lunney. “We play to their strengths and keep them out of the areas where they aren’t as good. It’ll be interesting to see the first several weeks how this takes shape.”
After the disappointment of the last two seasons, this could be redemption time for Bentonville.