PEA RIDGE (KFSM)--Very rarely do you see a school the size of Pea Ridge make two state title games one school year. Yet the Blackhawks have now reached both the 4A football and baksetball championships.
"This is like what I always dreamed of. When I grew up and came to watch basketball with my brother, everyone I looked up to, and I never thought it would ever be me going to the state championship," Joey Hall said.
Britton Caudill and Hayden Holtgrewe both played on the the Blackhawks football team that fell to Warren in the title game.
"Two state finals in one year for me, as a junior, that's crazy," Holtgrewe said. And it's not a mistake that the Blackhawks have lost just four combined games between the two teams.
"This is a special group of kids that have come through Pea Ridge and the atmosphere, the environments and just the way these kids hold themselves, it's something that hopefully will build in the Pea Ridge athletic program," coach Trent Loyd said.
The talent is hard to miss at the Ridge. "It's a mix of great coaches and great talent coming up. Our senior class has been really talented in both sports. And not only that but we have underclassmen that have provided a lot of spark and energy for both sports," Britton Caudill said.
"Being with this group of guys, that's probably the most fun I've ever had playing a sport," said Hall.
Caudill added, "This is the closest team I've ever been on, ever been a part of. And we're like a family."
"This doesn't happen very often. So when you have a chance to play in a state finals game, you've gotta make sure that every once in a while you take a step back and kind of just soak it all in," Loyd said.
Or in the words of Holtgrewe, "We're history makers I guess."
Pea Ridge plans to make the most of its two days in Hot Springs by practicing at Lake Hamilton's new arena and watching the 5A state title game between Parkview and Mills, ahead of facing Baptist Prep at 7:00 PM on Friday.