Head Coach: Chris Wood, 11th season at Har-Ber
2015 Record: 11-2
Returning Offensive Starters: 6
Returning Defensive Starters: 6
Key Players: SR Damon Nelson RG, JR Alejandro Ramirez DL, JR Jesus Zizumbo K
SPRINGDALE (KFSM)--Head coach Chris Wood has already taken the next step at Har-Ber. The Wildcats won the 7A state title in 2009 and nearly replicated the feat last season, before falling to Fayetteville in the finals.
"We beat Fayetteville last year, they just got us in the game that counted which was the last one. So it's not about taking the next step, we feel like we're there and we've been there ever since we've been established. I mean, we're just fortunate enough to be in a league with some really good football teams," Wood said.
The Wildcats return either 11 or 12 starters including three key offensive linemen: seniors Damon Nelson, Kyle Guthrie and Cade Chastain, who is coming off a torn ACL. They'll be tasked with protecting junior quarterback Peyton Copher, a dual threat signal caller.
"I think you're gonna see multiple quarterbacks going for us this year. I don't think it's just gonna be on one guy's shoulder's. I like what [senior] Aaron Hennington, [sophomores] Grant Allen and Blake Adams are doing for us in the pocket and the way they throw the football," said Wood.
On defense, Har-Ber is anchored by all-state noseguard Alejandro Ramirez. Another key player is Jesus Zizumbo, the kicker. As a sophomore, Zizumbo made 90 percent of his extra points and 4/6 field goals including one from 43 yards.
Har-Ber hosts Southside on September 2nd to open the season. Dating back to 2001, the series is tied at 7. But in 2015, the Wildcats beat the Mavericks twice, by a combined score of 75-7.