USA TODAY launches a contest to determine which high school boasts the best girls’ sports program in the country, and Bentonville High School is among 53 schools left in the contest.
The contest began with 255 schools, five in every state plus Washington D.C.
Bentonville High beat out Conway, Fayetteville, Greenwood and Lake Hamilton to represent the Natural State in the regional round of the contest.
“I can truly say that this is a great program, because I grew so much in the last year and a half,” said Morgan Vaughn, Bentonville High Softball Team. “It’s a great program and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”
There are eight regions in the contest. Arkansas is in region five with Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.
“It’s about the communities, bringing communities together and your fan base,” said Scott Passmore, Bentonville High Athletic Director. “I think that’s what separates us from a lot of states.”
The criteria for the inclusion in the contest was based on the overall strength of all of the individual girls programs, and Bentonville is no stranger to being good at winning.
“No one else does what we do,” Vaughn said. “It’s really true. I’ve never seen anybody else work as hard as we do or do half the things that we do.”
The Tigers have been dominant in several sports, winning at least two State Championships in each of the last five years.
“We have strong coaches and kids that truly want to be a Bentonville Tiger,” Passmore said. “They play hard for our school colors and I think that means a lot.”
Current athletes said there’s a lot more to the Bentonville athletic program than just winning.
“Each program teaches you great commitment,” Vaughn said. “They teach you how to be an honorable leader and how to push on no matter what happens.”
“I’ve learned a lot about team work,” said Emma Kinsey, Bentonville High Softball Team. “You have to believe in each other, just as much as you believe in yourself. It really helps you build as a person and it helps with everything.”
A winning program that builds character in young athletes. That’s one reason why the school is hoping to get your vote.
“We hope that people go out an support not just the Tigers but support Arkansas and vote for our program,” Passmore said.
Voting for the regional round ends on May 20th.
The regional winners and two wild cards will move on to the national round. A champion will be crowned on May 30th.
Click here to vote for Bentonville High School.