Saturday, September 16, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bears escape Jacksonville

Leader sports editor

What would a Jacksonville-Sylvan Hills matchup be without a little controversy? On Tuesday, when the Lady Bear volleyball team hosted the Lady Titans, officiating left both sides frustrated at times, but a late and controversial call in game five went Sylvan Hills’ way, and Jacksonville did not recover.

Final scores in the match were 25-22, 20-25, 25-16, 21-25 and 16-14 for the Lady Bears.

The two rivals battled to a 2-2 tie, but Jacksonville had all the momentum in game five until the very end. The Lady Titans served first, and scored four-straight points in the race-to-15 tiebreak set. Sophomore Blair Jones, usually a setter, had two kills to start the game before Sylvan Hills hit long and Titan sophomore Chandee Wesley aced the Lady Bears for a 4-0 lead.

After a Sylvan Hills timeout, Lady Bear Grace Turner got a kill, but Jacksonville broke right back and then made it 6-1 with back-to-back kills by Aaliyah Burks. Jacksonville still led 13-8, needing just two points for the match, when things began to unravel.

A serve into the net gave Sylvan Hills the ball trailing 13-9. Wesley, also a setter, hit wide on a kill attempt. Sylvan Hills’ Paris Penn then appeared to hit long, which would’ve made it 14-10 Jacksonville. But the call was overruled; with the head official ruling the ball was touched at the net on the block attempt.

With the score 13-11 and Sylvan Hills’ Cory Tessman serving, Jacksonville committed three-straight unforced errors to give the Lady Bears a 14-13 lead.

Jacksonville’s Brittney Eskridge finally broke the run with kill that tied it up, but Sylvan Hills scored the next point on another Jacksonville mistake.

Senior libero Lindsey Holt made a diving dig of a hard hit by Sylvan Hills’ Aliya Hatton, and her pass floated perfectly to the front of the net, but no one from Jacksonville set the ball, letting it drop to the floor for a 15-14 Lady Bear lead.

For the final point, Turner, as she did frequently throughout the match, found an empty spot in the Jacksonville defense for a tip kill to seal the victory.

“I am never going to blame officiating for a loss,” said Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby. “The girls know that. At the same time, they are teenage girls. They play so much with their emotions. They felt like someone was trying to take it away from them. They have to learn to put it behind and focus on the next point. We just didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.

“Other than that, I am so, so proud of the way they fought tonight and have stuck together this season. They’ve faced so much adversity and they have really pulled together. They’re going to get better from here.”

Sylvan Hills has been a team battling adversity as well, especially in team chemistry. Lady Bear coach Harold Treadway sees this win as a potential turning for his team.

“If they want to make it one, it can be,” Treadway said. “This is really the first time this year we’ve put together a good effort and beaten a quality team. We showed tonight that we’re capable of playing much better than we have been. If they’ll look at that and learn from it, we have a chance to start becoming a really good team.”

Jacksonville also led 20-16 in game one before the Lady Bears closed with a 9-2 run, including the last five in a row after Jacksonville led 22-20. It started with a Turner kill to break serve. Freshman Riley Parker took serve for the Bears and a miss-hit tied it and forced a Jacoby timeout.

Turner got a block out of the break. Parker’s next serve was passed out of bounds, and the freshman delivered an ace to finish off game one.

Game two was a reversal. Sylvan Hills got out early before Jacksonville stormed back. The Lady Bears (6-6, 6-2) led 13-9 before Jacksonville scored 10 in a row, the longest run in the match by either team. It started with a kill by Basia Brown that made it 13-10 and sent Wesley to the service line for Jacksonville. She served two aces while Burks and Brown had a kill apiece to go with several long hits by the Lady Bears.

Sylvan Hills fought back to within 22-20, but Jacksonville scored the last three on three-straight kills by Eskridge.

Sylvan Hills scored seven in a row in game three for a 10-4 lead. Sophomore Graemme Withrow served an ace to go with three kills by Tessman during the rally. Jacksonville scored the next two points, but was never closer than five the rest of the way.

Game four was nip-and-tuck until the very end. Sylvan Hills jumped out to a 7-2 lead but Jacksonville (3-7, 3-3) battled back to within 8-7 shortly thereafter. Neither team led by more than two points until Jacksonville scored the last three in a row to end the game.

Turner had given the Lady Bears the ball trailing 21-22, but Anna Snyder served into the net. Holt took serve for Jacksonville, and just like in game two, back-to-back kills by Eskridge sealed the game and set up the tiebreak set.

Turner led the Lady Bears with 14 kills while Tessman added seven and Lydia Young had five. Turner also had a team-high four aces while Parker finished with 19 assists.

Eskridge led all players with 15 kills. Jones added eight while Burks and Brown recorded six apiece. Wesley had team highs with five aces and 13 assists. Jones added 10 assists and three aces.

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers play them all in rout

Special to The Leader

The class 5A Central J.A. Fair War Eagles traveled to Panther stadium in Cabot Friday night to face the 7A Central Cabot Panthers for the last time of a four-game series. The Panthers won handily, defeating Fair by a final of 44-0. Cabot turned the ball over twice by fumble in the first quarter, but still led 30-0 at the half. Cabot added two touchdowns in the second half, the first one invoking the Sportsmanship rule, to set the final margin.

The Panthers are now 2-1, losing last week to El Dorado, and defeating Pine Bluff in Week One. Fair remains winless at 0-3.

“They’re down,” Cabot coach Mike Malham said. “They’ve been on tough times. Everybody got to play. We didn’t really play real sharp early. It took us a while to get going. We turned it over twice to keep them in it the first half. But, we finally got the job done. The second team got to play a couple of series, and the third team got to play. We’ve got a hundred out, and all hundred got in the game tonight. That’s a good thing.”

Cabot had the first possession of the game from the Fair 49-yard line. A run of 14 by T.J. Rogers, runs of 13 by quarterback Tommy Oaks and Adam Flores resulted in a first and goal one the 1-yard line. Rogers took the ball in from there, and Ben McCollough added the extra point for the 7-0 early lead.

On the War Eagles’ first play from scrimmage, quarterback Akeem Gilmore dropped the ball, picked it up and ran for 51 yards. However, a holding penalty and two incomplete passes resulted in a punt.

Cabot’s next possession was fumbled on the second play and recovered by Fair on the Panther 23-yard line. The excellent field position was squandered by two high snaps for a loss of 50 yards, and Cabot got the ball back on the War Eagle 24-yard line. After Rogers carried to the six, another fumble occurred, and Fair had the ball at the one. A tackle in the end zone by Omero Garcia resulted in a safety, and the lead was now 9-0 with 5:22 remaining in the opening quarter.

The ensuing kick off by Fair was returned to the Fair 38-yard line by De’kairo Rudolph. Flores ran for five and 13 yards, then Rogers six yards to the eight. It was Rogers then taking a toss and running it in for the score. McCollough added the point after for the 16-0 advantage.

It was Rogers again on the next Panther possession with a 33-yard touchdown scamper. Again, McCollough added the PAT, and the lead grew to 23-0.

The War Eagles were forced to punt, and Rudolph picked the punt up and returned it to the Fair 27-yard line. With Layton Morris in at quarterback, Graham Turner ran for 19 yards to the one. A penalty backed the Panthers up five, but after a gain of four by Wesley Ocampo, Wyatt McMahan carried the ball in for the score. The point after by McCollough made the lead 30-0 with 5:12 remaining in the half.

A 66-yard punt return by Rudolph was the only score in the third quarter, making the score 37-0.

The final score was set in the final quarter on a 32-yard touchdown run by Jake Long. McCollough added both extra points in the half, and the final margin was set at 44-0.

Cabot had 399 total yards of offense, while holding the War Eagles to 96 yards. Rogers had six carries for 80 yards and three touchdowns for Cabot. Turner had five carries for 58, and Flores four for 43 yards.

Cabot will play Catholic next Friday at War Memorial Stadium.

SPORTS STORY >> Bear defense stifles Titans

Leader sports editor

Each week shows another step in the right direction for the Sylvan Hills football team, and defense highlighted the Bears’ 28-3, Week 3 victory over rival Jacksonville Friday at Blackwood Field in Sherwood.

Sylvan Hills gave up just 92 total yards of offense, and just 21 in the second half. Jacksonville also had six penalties for 51 yards, for a net total of 41 yards of offense.

“The defense was great,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow. “They stayed in their lanes and contained that quarterback. I’m not kidding you; he (Jacksonville’s Harderrious Martin) might be one of the best ones we’ve seen in a long time. He got them out of a couple tough situations because he’s just a great athlete. But overall the defense did a great job tonight.”

There was no aspect of the Bears’ opening game that was good. In week two, the offense rolled over Hot Springs Lakeside 48-22. This week the defense showed the improvement.

Jacksonville (1-2) didn’t get a first down until its third drive. The Titans’ best one came at the end of the first half, going from their own 40 to the Sylvan Hills 3-yard line before settling for a field goal.

They got just one first down the entire second half.

Sylvan Hills’ offense was steady against a stingy Jacksonville defense. The Bears dominated time of possession. They had eight possessions and scored on four of them. The other four ended in three turnovers on downs and one punt.

“I was pretty pleased with the offense,” Withrow said. “But I wish we could’ve converted a few times and finished them earlier. But give credit to Jacksonville for that. Those four they got up front are tough.”

The Bears scored on the game’s opening drive after sputtering the first two plays. On third and long, quarterback Ryan Lumpkin hit Deon Youngblood for a 12-yard gain and a first own. They never faced another third down the rest of the drive. The same play resulted in a 15-yard gain on second down, and set up first down at the Jacksonville 27. Youngblood got one more carry for 6 yards, and Ty Compton did the rest, carrying three times for 20 yards, going 6 on the last for the score with 8:20 to go in the first quarter.

Jacksonville went three and out on its first two drives, but stopped the Bears on downs twice as well in the first half.

Sylvan Hills (2-1) scored again when it got a short field, starting at the Titan 45-yard line. Again the Bears faced third and long after two plays, but again Youngblood took a swing pass 9 yards for the first down, and again it was the last third-down of the drive.

Compton took the same pass 12 yards on the next play to the Jacksonville 21. Lumpkin was almost sacked on the next play, but got away and to the 14-yard line. Youngblood picked up 3 yards to the 11 on second and three. He then got 10 yards on first down, and the final yard and the score with 9:56 left in the first half.

Jacksonville jumped off sides on extra point, moving the ball to the 1-yard line, and prompting Sylvan Hills to go for two. Compton was hit at the line of scrimmage, but powered his way into the end zone for the 15-0 lead.

Jacksonville got on the board just before halftime. After forcing another turnover on downs, the Titans took over on their own 40. A sack made it third and 15, but Martin got away from pressure, and then broke two tackles for a 20 yards gain and first down. Shawn Ellis then took an option pitch 20 yards to the Sylvan Hills 25-yard line.

The Bears had the Titans stopped when Martin could only managed 7 yards scrambling on third and 12, but a late-hit penalty gave the Titans a first and goal at the 10.

After a 2-yard loss, Ellis rumbled 9 yards to the three for third and goal, but Jacksonville jumped off sides after a timeout, and then gained nothing on third and 8. Josh Huber then made a 25-yard field goal as the buzzer ended the first half.

The first three possessions of the second half were all three and out – two by Jacksonville and one by Sylvan Hills. The Bears then took possession at their own 21, and put together a 15-play drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown catch by Cole Miller on the first play of the fourth quarter. The drive included four third-down conversions. Matthew Riley’s extra point made it 22-3 with 11:54 left in the game.

Jacksonville’s second-half first down was a 26-yard reception by Deboious Cobbs on third and 9, but the Titans lost 7 yards from there and turned it over on downs when Deviontae Muldrow sacked Martin.

Sylvan Hills took over on its own 35 and went that distance in 11 plays. There was only one third-down on that drive, and Jacksonville stuffed the Bears for a 1-yard loss, setting up fourth down at the Jacksonville 3-yard line. The Bears went for it, and Compton took the inside counter handoff into the end zone untouched to set the final margin with 2:55 to play.

The Bears finished with 358 yards of offense. Youngblood had 162 total yards, including 18 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns, as well as five receptions for 68 yards.

Lumpkin completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Both teams open conference play next week. The Bears will be on the road for their first 5A-Central matchup with Mills University Studies. The Comets are 1-2 this season, losing 25-21 in Week 1 to Jacksonville. They beat Hal 28-18 last week, but lost 37-0 to Maumelle last night.

Jacksonville is at home for its opening 6A-East matchup with Searcy. The Lions (3-0) have been rolling up the points in their three victories, averaging nearly 54 points per game. They beat Morrilton 51-17 on Friday.

Friday, September 15, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Single serve before voters

Sherwood and Jacksonville city councils have both set a Nov. 14 election on an ordinance that would allow serving alcohol by the drink in restaurants.

The referendum, which will be mostly paid for by Pulaski County, is seen as an economic initiative that would bring new restaurants to the area and let existing ones, such as pizza parlors and others, to add beer, wine and other drinks to their menus.

About 50 percent of Sherwood is dry and 90 percent of Jacksonville is dry due because more than 60 years ago, residents in Gray Township (which straddles both cities) voted the area dry. The township no longer exists and that has created problems in efforts to bring alcohol sales back into the dry sections of Sherwood and Jacksonville.

A commissioned study, issued about four years ago, when the two cities were trying to collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot, showed both cities were losing millions of dollars because parts of the cities were dry.

A bill passed by the state legislature last session allowed the two cities to schedule a vote on the issue, but first the boundaries of the defunct township had to be officially determined. To do that, both councils passed ordinances in mid-August asking the Pulaski County Election Commission to identify and give a legal description of the defunct township.

Even though the voting will be on the same day, each precinct will be tallied separately, so there is a chance that only a portion of Jacksonville or Sherwood could become wet.

It’s important to remember this vote would not expand alcohol sales outside restaurants — no new liquor stores or beer sales in grocery or convenience stores. Those are issues that would require separate ballot initiatives with sufficient signatures to put before the voters in dry communities.

North Little Rock’s restaurant row on Warden Road may seem like it has it all, but it’s an eyesore. Jacksonville and Sherwood have lots of potential for development, and both could become dining destinations if done right.

Urban planning should be done smartly so communities don’t appear to be parking lots and neon signs. Other amenities matter.

The supporters’ slogan for the election is Vote for Progress Now, and we agree.

TOP STORY >> Cabot cop soothes distraught vets

Cabot Patrol Sgt. David Thrush was named the city’s employee of the month for September for his hard work and dedication in August.

Last month, Thrush responded to two separate calls on the same night that could have become very dangerous.

Although the calls were different in nature, “they both dealt with veterans with post-service issues. Out of respect to the families, the details of these calls will not be listed,” according to the announcement from the city.

“Sgt. Thrush is a proud Army veteran, a sergeant of the Cabot Police Department, and a police officer with almost 20 years’ service with Cabot and other years of service in the police force with other agencies. He used his experience in the Army to help relate to, and eventually, calm the veterans down. They shared experiences about their training, deployments and equipment,” the announcement said.

Thrush’s compassion for fellow veterans was instrumental in keeping the situations calm and helping defuse the situations.

“His discipline and demeanor shined that evening. For these reasons, David is being chosen as the September employee of the month,” the announcement said.

For being chosen employee of the month, Thrush received a plaque with his name on it. His name will be added to the list of past employees of the month at city hall, and he will have lunch with the mayor and Human Resources Director Matthew Hood.

TOP STORY >> Cities kick off campaign

Leader staff writer

Jacksonville and Sherwood held kickoff events Thursday for the cities’ joint “Vote for Progress Now” campaign. The campaign’s focus is to get the word out to voters in the Gray Township area to vote yes to liquor by the drink on Nov. 14.

“This is huge for economic development for our city,” Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher told business leaders and community members gathered at the Esther Nixon Library. “When we talk to these national chains about our city, they want to be here. But this issue of being dry is killing us. We can get fast food all day long, but getting nice sit-down restaurants, they’re just not going to come here. Why would they jump through the hoops to be here when they can go right down the road a little bit farther? When our money leaves Jacksonville it stays gone. We need that money here to support this city and all the services we offer, our police and fire, our public works and all these departments that are important to our everyday life in our city. We need this to happen.”

The mayor continued, telling the crowd Dr. Robert Price, chairman of the Progress Now committee, has been working to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.

“The one thing that’s going to come and build these buildings downtown that we’re trying to create is restaurants,” Fletcher said. “We need to have that ability to serve alcohol by the drink to make those things possible for our city.”

Other speakers at the event included J.C. Goff, co-owner of Edge Realty; CM Smoke owner Mike Stevens and Jacksonville resident Becky Gertz.

“One thing I really wanted to touch on is I think our generation, people 30 years and younger in Jacksonville, have kind of been forgotten,” Goff told the crowd. “We need to understand where Jacksonville is now. And then where we can go in the future. This is a small step for our community.”

Goff, a Jacksonville High School graduate, served in the Air Force and was stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base.

“I was in a squadron of 300 people and every day it was ‘what do you want to do for lunch? Where are we going to lunch?’ Nine times out of 10 we were going outside of Jacksonville for lunch,” Goff said.

“We weren’t drinking beer. We weren’t having a glass of wine for lunch. It was just having an opportunity to get food that maybe reminds somebody that’s from a different city than where they’re from. It was something that offered something other than fast food.”

Stevens spoke briefly about his experience opening a restaurant in Jacksonville.

“This issue is really something we need to pass for Jacksonville. Opening a new restaurant in Jacksonville is extremely difficult if you want to have a beer by the glass. The opportunity we’re trying to seek is if someone looks at Jacksonville to open a chain restaurant, we will already have that checkmark of liquor by the glass,” Stevens said.

Gertz said she and her husband often go to the bigger chain restaurants in other towns not to have a drink, but because there are more options on the menus.

“It brings more jobs. It brings more people. We’ve had big baseball and softball tournaments in town. All those people leave town to go get something to eat so they can have a drink with their meal or just have more choices,” Gertz said.

The Sherwood kickoff was held at the future site of Woodland Town Center at Oakdale Road and Hwy. 107.

Donnie Crain, economic development director for the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, said, “This is really a simple measure. The time is now to revisit this issue. It was last elected 60 years ago.”

“Those were different times and different circumstances. Passage of this issue will allow current restaurants to be more profitable and be more competitive. It will also encourage new restaurants to develop in this area. It’s going to increase restaurant sales and economic activity in the area, which is great for the city of Sherwood.

“Bottom line: Residents who drink or don’t drink, will have more dining options. They won’t have to drive 10 to 15 minutes to a restaurant.”

Brooks McRae, Sherwood chamber president and a commercial realtor, told the crowd, “We’re very excited to remove those barriers to competition so that any restaurant that can come into other parts of Sherwood or other parts of Jacksonville, can now come into all of Sherwood and all of Jacksonville. That’s really what the election is about.”

Sherwood Alderman Marina Brooks, who is chairwoman of the Advertising and Promotions Commission, spoke about the city’s hamburger tax, which provides parks and other recreation options in the city. “Hopefully we’ll attract more restaurants because they can serve alcohol. Those restaurants will have tax money coming back into the city, which will have better parks and recreation options for our citizens, especially in this part of the city. It’s time for progress now. Let’s vote for our future,” she said.

Woodland Town Center developer Paul Wilson, who co-owns Salon Professional Academy, already has several businesses set to lease at the shopping center. “We’ve got a restaurant coming in here, Salon Professional Academy, a physical therapist, a financial adviser, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If this passes, I can imagine all the economic development and the quality of life it’s going to improve.”

Business owner Robin Benetz was already planning to add a lunch restaurant to her Woodlands Bakery, located on Kiehl Avenue. “When I heard about this vote, I said this could completely restructure our business. If it passes, we are talking about opening up for dinner as well, so you would have a restaurant for lunch and dinner, including Saturday nights. We’re talking about bringing in a small events center. That’s just what we could bring to this area if this passes,” she said.

“I know that all the other area landowners are waiting for something to happen. Well, it’s happening now. The only way to make this grow and to help the economy and the community and the value of your land in this area is to vote for this to pass,” Benetz said.

Crain closed the event encouraging attendees to help spread the word. “Financial support will be greatly appreciated in any amount. Elections are not cheap. We need volunteers who are making phone calls and ringing doorbells and putting up signs. Really we just want to make sure folks are aware of the upcoming vote,” he said.

The group has a Facebook page, “Progress Now for Sherwood and Jacksonville,” to help get the word out about the vote online.

More than 60 years ago, the now defunct Gray Township voted to become a dry area in Pulaski County. The population of the Jacksonville at the time was 2,474, and Sherwood was 717.

Jacksonville now has 28,808 people and Sherwood has 30,407, according to information handed out at the kickoff events.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lonoke ladies knock off Baptist Prep

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor

The Lonoke volleyball team picked up a quality road win on Monday, beating a much-improved Baptist Prep squad 3-1 in west Little Rock. The Eagles and Jackrabbits shared one common opponent in CAC. The Lady Mustangs beat Lonoke 3-1 in the season opener, but Baptist Prep had swept CAC 3-0 in its match just prior to Lonoke.

The Lady Jackrabbits, however, have been steadily improving since their opener, and their defense steadily improved as Monday’s match progressed.

While the two teams are in the same 4A-Central Conference, they are in different 1A/4A blended districts. That means the match didn’t count towards district standings, but it was a chance to get a look at a potential 4A-Central Conference tournament opponent.

“We’ve been working starters vs. starters in practice in terms of our hitters against our defensive players,” said Lonoke coach Laura Park. “In this conference, we don’t get the chance to play many teams where we have to play defense. We know what to do. But it’s one thing to know, and another thing to move your feet and do it. That took a little time tonight but once we started doing that, I was very pleased with our defense.”

After three hard-fought games with a final margin of no more than four points, Lonoke appeared to be on its way to blowing its host out in game four. Lonoke senior Kayla Shelton took serve with her team leading 10-8. After two BP kill shots that strayed long, and a miss-hit into the net, Eagle coach Krista Spoon called timeout. It didn’t stem the tide.

The next point was a long rally that saw Gracie Mason and Shelton get tough digs of huge hits by BP’s 6-2 junior Molly Singleton. Shelton’s dig was also a perfect pass to Emily Armstrong, who set up Keiunna Walker for the kill that made it 14-8.

Prep won the next point, but Lonoke immediately broke serve with an Armstrong kill that made the score 15-9 and set up another run of points by the visiting team.

Sydney Hallum took serve and Maddie Pool started the run with a huge block. Prep hit out and Armstrong got a sneaky tip kill to make it 18-9. Hallum then served up an ace before another hit went long to give Lonoke a 20-9 lead and force another timeout by Spoon.

This time, the Lady Eagles (7-5, 4-0) rallied, but the deficit was too large. Final scores in the match were 25-21, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-20.

Lonoke (6-4-1, 3-0) has several capable hitters this year, and the team spread the ball around nicely. Five players finished with at least four kills. Walker and Kennedy White had eight each. Those two came on strong in the last two games.

Walker had five kills in game four alone, while Kennedy had three. Three of Armstrong’s five kills came in game four, while Pool and Shelton carried the load early. Pool finished with six kills and 12 blocks, including seven blocks for points in games two and three. Shelton had four kills and seven blocks, two each in game one, the rest in games two and three.

“I think it’s very important to stress that everybody played well tonight,” Park said. “Everybody did their job. This was an important game and they really came together as a team, and played like a team and got a good win.”

Lonoke missed more serves than Park wants to see, but they were also gambling. At times it paid off. The Lady Jackrabbits finished with nine aces, three by Walker and two each by Hallum, Pool and Armstrong.

Lonoke built an 18-12 lead in game one before the Eagles rallied to within 20-19. Alex Clouser then served wide and Lonoke went on for the win.

Lonoke may have lost some focus going into game two. Baptist Prep Molly Lane served five-straight, including two aces, to start it. The deficit stayed five or six until a service break made it 12-8 and Shelton took serve.

Pool got two blocks while Hallum and Armstrong got a kill apiece to tie it up at 12. But Prep pulled away again, going from 13-13 to up five before a Walker kill broke the run. The margin grew to 23-17 before Lonoke tried to rally. It got to within 24-23 with another block by Pool, but a little luck gave Prep the game. Senior Julie Young swung for a big kill that went off the side of her hand and fluttered to sideline, landing just inside the boundary in an empty spot in Lonoke’s defense.

Game three was a key turning point. Lonoke built a big lead early, and fended off a late rally by the Eagles. The margin was 12-6 and then up to 17-9. Lonoke went from that eight-point lead to trailing 21-20 before scoring the last five-consecutive points. Pool broke Prep’s serve with a nifty tip into a defensive hole.

Hallum then took serve and Young hit long to give Lonoke the lead back at 22-21. Pool got another block before Hallum placed a perfect serve on the back right-corner line for an ace. Yet another block by Pool ended the game, and gave Lonoke the momentum to build the big lead in game four.

Lonoke travels to Jacksonville Lighthouse for a 1A/4A District 9 game on Thursday. Lighthouse plays its home games at North Little Rock Apostolic Church, 4314 Landers Road.

SPORTS STORY >> Fair no match for Lady Titans

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville volleyball team won its third conference match at home on Thursday, handling J.A. Fair with ease in a 3-0 sweep. The other two of Jacksonville’s conference wins have seen lapses in focus after gaining a 2-0 lead, and that was a point of emphasis for Thursday’s game with the overmatched Lady War Eagles.

Jacksonville almost lost game three in the league opener at Hall, and then did lose game three in a 3-1 win at Parkview, the match before Fair, but there was no letdown in game three on Thursday.

“Really, I thought we could’ve been a little more focused at the very beginning than we were,” said Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby. “We had six missed serves in the first game, and we addressed that in the huddle. We settled down after that and played pretty well. When you play a team that’s not going to put much pressure on, you just have to settle down and not make mistakes. We didn’t give up more than 11 in any game, so that was pretty good.”

Scores in the match were 25-11, 25-9 and 25-11.

Each game featured at least one long hold serve and a lot of Lady Titan aces. Jacksonville actually trailed 5-2 early in game one thanks to missed serves miss-hits on swings. Junior Chandee Wesley then took serve until Jacksonville led 10-5. She had two aces while Aaliyah Burks and Basia Brown added kills during the rally.

Later in the game, senior exchange student Federic Bossi drilled three-consecutive aces to go from 20-10 to 23-10 before she served wide.

Lindsey Holt then added a kill and Brittney Eskridge served up another ace to end game one.

The Lady Titans never trailed again, although a series of errors turned a 6-2 lead into a 6-6 tie momentarily in game two. Eskridge then got a kill to halt a three-point rally by Fair, and Jacksonville reeled off the next 11 points in a row on sophomore Blair Jones’ serve.

A Bossi kill was followed by a Jones ace, a lift violation by Fair and two more aces by Jones. Eskridge then got another kill before Jones reeled off three more aces in a row before finally serving long.

Jacksonville immediately broke serve, and Bossi then served six-straight points, including four more aces. Jones had two kills for the other two points of the Bossi rally.

Wesley took serve to start game three and immediately set the tone with three-straight aces.

The Lady Titans finished the match with 32 total aces. Bossi and Jones had eight apiece. Wesley had seven, Holt five while Eskridge and Skyra Gulley had two each.

There weren’t many opportunities for kills, but Brown, Eskridge and Jones had four each while Bossi and Holt had two apiece.

Jacksonville (3-5, 3-1) played at archrival Sylvan Hills last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that match in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.

SPORTS STORY >> Bears, Titans to do battle

 Leader sports editor

There are two old sayings that come into play leading up to the Jacksonville Titans’ visit to Blackwood Field to face rival Sylvan Hills on Friday in Sherwood. The first is, throw records out the window. The second is, never compare scores.

This year, you can throw the first cliché out the window. Both teams enter the game with a record of 1-1, but recent history makes Sylvan Hills the favorite in most eyes.

The Bears have been one of the top teams in 5A the last three seasons. The peak of that run so far was last year’s 9-2 team that waxed Jacksonville 42-7 at Jan Crow Stadium. Last season might also have been the low point of a down cycle for Jacksonville.

Sylvan Hills also won the last four meetings. 2012 was the last time that JHS won the annual rivalry matchup.

All that makes it seem like the Bears should be favored, but Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow would like to draw those reigns back. And he has good reason.

The Bears and Titans share a common opponent. Catholic High gave both teams their loss, and while it may be an old saying that you can’t tell anything by comparing scores, it’s a hard factor to ignore just two games into the season.

The Rockets exploded on the Bears for a 44-7 blowout in Week 1. They started similarly against the Titans in Week 2, with Catholic scoring the game’s first 17 points. But Jacksonville stiffened up on defense and found a way to make a game of it before losing 34-17.

Withrow took notice.

“I think everybody thought Catholic would just run away with it, and it just never happened,” Withrow said. “Going into this one, I don’t know how everybody else looks at it, but they blew us out and Jacksonville played them tight. I think maybe you got to make Jacksonville the favorite.”

Turnovers were a big problem for the Bears in their loss. They coughed it up four times. They also cost themselves opportunities to score by thwarting good drives with penalties. They cured most of those woes with their own blowout of Hot Springs Lakeside. Getting that win and looking impressive doing it was a major boost for Sylvan Hills.

“Bouncing back like that is a big deal because you really don’t know where it’s going to go after a game like we started with,” Withrow said. “I thought all three phases were much better than the first week. And we got some turnovers instead giving them up. So we caught some breaks, but I still think it was obvious we executed a lot better.”

Withrow thinks Jacksonville is executing better as well. Of particular concern is the ability of senior quarterback Harderrious Martin. HD, as Martin is known, has shared time at quarterback since his sophomore season and has been the full-time starters since Week 4 last season, but he’s an unknown commodity to Withrow. Last year, Martin was not yet the starting quarterback when the two teams met. But he stands out on film.

“That quarterback can fly,” Withrow said. “Where did he come from? I can’t believe we hadn’t seen him. He reminds me a lot of (former SH starting QB Tra) Doss. He has that ability to make things happen when it looks like you’ve got them stopped. Doss was like that. You get them third long or on fourth down, and all of a sudden they’re out of it. I haven’t seen them throw it much, but I guarantee you Jacksonville is going to have a receiver or two that can go. They’re better. There’s no doubt.”

Sylvan Hills has a few of its own high-output players. None were more obvious than Deon Youngblood’s 284 yards and six touchdowns in last week’s win. The senior running back/slot back has had plenty of big yardage gains in his career against top-level competition, but Withrow thinks the yards will tougher to come by this week than it was last week.

“I’m also impressed with their front four on defense,” Withrow said of Jacksonville. “Their biggest one, 59, (Kalon McCoy) is a problem for anybody, and they all four get after you and play well. I’m not for a second thinking this is going to be easy. Last year is over. But I will say out blocking was much, much better last week. So what we have to answer is, what’s the reality? Are we the Week 1 team, or the Week 2 team?”

SPORTS STORY >> CHS shows well at the Minuteman

Leader sports editor

Two Cabot runners placed in the Top-12 at the Minuteman 5K Cross Country meet Saturday at Western Hills Park in Little Rock. There were 289 senior high boys and 201 senior high girls competing at the massive event. Cabot junior Lauren Turner turned in a seventh-place performance, finishing in 20:47.82. Panther senior Greyson Kaufman was the highest local boys’ finisher, taking 12th place with a time of 17:28.52.

Carter Reynolds of Maumelle won the boys’ race with a time of 16:46.07. Josie Carson of Lake Hamilton took first place in the girls’ division with a time of 19:19.73.

Junior Lilly Loe was the next best Cabot runner for the girls. She ran a 23:27.35 to finish in position40, the top-20 percent. Sophomore Dewey Piper and junior Shannon Gardner were numbers 65 and 69, while sophomore Adrianna Peterson finished in 77th place.

Also finishing in the top half of the race was the Beebe duo of junior Marianna Richey and senior Courtney Smith. They were 95 and 96 respectively.

In the boys’ event, after Kaufman, the next best local finisher was Beebe junior Alex Burrow, who ran a 17:52.66 to finish and place 22 in his first time competing at the Minuteman. A pair of Cabot sophomores, Braden Leonard and Nicholas Wells, were 25 and 26 respectively, turning in solid efforts in their first varsity event.

Cabot junior Nick Blanford and his sophomore teammate Thomas Jasmin were 34 and 35, also finishing in the top 15 percent of all competitors. Cabot senior Blake Scott finished in 48th place. Junior Garrett Hardcastle, junior Sam Savage and sophomore Easton Usery were 71, 73 and 74 respectively.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Election rally today

The Jacksonville and Sherwood chambers of commerce today are kicking off an initiative to win public support for a Nov. 14 election to allow liquor sales at restaurants in Gray Township, which banned alcohol more than 50 years ago.

Jacksonville and Sherwood coordinated efforts to set the election since the defunct township is part of both cities, and now both communities are asking residents in the Gray Township “to Vote for Progress Now.”

Proponents say the initiative will spur economic growth by creating jobs and improve the quality of life by giving residents more dining options.

The cities also hope expanding liquor sales will boost their coffers by generating a new sales-tax revenue stream.

To learn more, visit the Nixon Library in Jacksonville at 11 a.m. today and then at noon at Oak Dale Road and Hwy. 107 near McDonald’s in Gravel Ridge.

EDITORIAL >> Explaining school funds

If the Pulaski County Special School District is building a nicer new school for the whiter, richer kids in west Little Rock than for the blacker, poorer one in the southeast part of the county, well, that’s just not right.

If this is true, it’s a huge embarrassment—especially if someone manipulated that disparity.

Apparently the school board and administration think so as well. If it’s true, and there’s some indication that it is, “we want to find out where it went wrong,” PCSSD board president Linda Remele says. “We’re committed to fixing it if it did go astray.”

The two construction projects were part of a package deal promoted by then-Superintendent Jerry Guess.

A patron noticed the apparent disparity after visiting the two schools and reported it to PCSSD interim-Superintendent Janice Warren. The concern became public Friday, when Sam Jones, the district’s attorney, filed the information in a supplemental report just in time for consideration in a regularly scheduled desegregation hearing before U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall.

John Walker – attorney-for-life for the Joshua Intervenors – wasted no time suggesting fraud and wanting answers.

Walker said that both the Mills project, which includes transforming the old high school into a “new” middle school and the Robinson Middle School project that included a gym and auditorium to be shared with the adjacent Robinson High School, were promised as $55 million projects to be occupied at the same time.

Jones said Guess and State Education Commissioner Johnny Key – acting in place of the then-dissolved PCSSD School Board – authorized that amount in June 2015 to construct a new Mills High School and renovate the old one to replace Fuller Middle School.

The refurbished school will be rebranded Mills Middle School, by the way.

But apparently on March 14, 2016, the architects for Mills were directed to work toward a $35 million budget. Reached at home Friday evening, Guess called the Mills contract “a guaranteed $40 million maximum contract.”

Remele, who was elected president when PCSSD was released from fiscal distress and took back local control in January, said her understanding was both projects would be a total of $80 million – $55 million for Mills and $40 million for Robinson Middle School.

At any rate, it appears that the Robinson work in the gym area has more windows, nicer fixtures and higher-end finishes.

Among other questions, are there any size differences in the weight rooms, indoor practice facilities and coaches and athletic personnel offices?

Certain aspects of the facilities at Robinson may involve features that could be regarded as superior in quality to those at Mills, Jones told the judge.

Investigators will work with construction managers Baldwin and Shell and go over books to see what’s been paid.

The judge gave PCSSD 30 days to complete the investigation and file copies with the court, and another 15 days for Walker to respond. After that, desegregation monitor Margie Powell will have at least 15 days to sort through those documents and find out the truth.

Not figuring into this is a $60 million or so expansion and makeover to the Sylvan Hills campus, where growth is so great that they’ve had to bus ninth graders over to the old Northwood Middle School.

We got one chance to get this right, folks. Generations of students will be educated in the new schools.

TOP STORY >> Holocaust survivor’s final journey

Ferenc and Ilona Feldman
Leader Executive editor

“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.” — Psalm 1:6

Hurricane Irma was forecast to hit Miami last Sunday, and my 91-year-old-mother, who’d been in failing health in recent years, was getting weaker every day. She’d lived through four hurricanes after she and my father moved to Florida, and it was as if she did not want to go through another awful storm.

Looking out her window from the nursing home where she’d been living for two years, she must have felt the hurricane approaching far away in the Atlantic. She lived through so many horrors of the 20th Century — she was a survivor of Auschwitz, Ravensbruck, Frankfurt and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps — and now, in her old age, she did not want to see another catastrophe.

My mother, Ilona, passed away in her sleep at 5:20 p.m. last Tuesday, five days before the hurricane and five weeks short of her 92nd birthday.

She was strong for most of her life and never lost her faith. More than 60 years ago, she walked all night across the Hungarian-Austrian border as I held her hand while my father carried my baby brother on his back fleeing the Russian army.

“The past is with me every day,” she said.

She was a teenage survivor of the death camps, which meant she had to be strong as millions of Jews perished during the Holocaust. An only child, she lived with her widowed mother Ida in the tiny village of Nyirtura not far from the city of Nyiregyhaza in northeast Hungary, where my parents married after the war.

When the Nazis ordered the deportations to Auschwitz in the spring of 1944, she and her mother and their extended family were rounded up at 5 a.m. Sunday, April 16, the day after Passover, and made to walk several kilometers to one of the ghettoes in and around Nyiregyhaza.

Between May 14 and June 4, some 6,500 Jews living in the area were marched to railroad stations. Each transport had up to 40 cattle cars, each holding between 70 and 100 people who were forced to stand, without food and hardly any water. The 250-mile journey to Auschwitz took several days while many inside suffocated.

My brother Steve, a scholar at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, has sent me more details about their journey to Auschwitz as the Germans kept meticulous records about every transport.

She was deported on Saturday, May 20, with 3,274 people listed as passing through Kassa, Hungary, on May 21. They arrived in Auschwitz on Tuesday, May 23, the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan.

The living got off the trains, dazed and hungry and thirsty. My mother was separated from my grandmother, who was immediately sent to the gas chamber, along with all the elderly, mothers and their children and the sick.

The trains kept arriving for the next seven weeks that summer, carrying 437,000 Hungarian Jews to the death camp. Most perished in Auschwitz, except the able-bodied like my mother, who were used as slave laborers in the German Reich.

My father, Ferenc, was also in forced labor battalions but was not sent to Auschwitz. His parents, brothers and sisters perished there.

The Nazis were losing the war — the allies were closing in from the east and south and D-Day was just days away — but the killing machine went into full fury. About a third of the more than 1.1 million people killed in Auschwitz died during that summer of 1944.

“The machinery of destruction...was structurally no different from organized German society as a whole,” wrote the historian Raul Hillberg in his pioneering Holocaust study, “The Destruction of the European Jews.” They made the trains run on time to the death camps, ordered the poison gas and plundered the prisoners’ belongings, which they sent to the Fatherland.

The British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper called the Holocaust “the greatest planned crime in history.”

My mother was in Auschwitz for three months. She had a writer’s eye for detail. She heard the cries of the Gypsies, who were kept in barracks near her. Some 20,000 Gypsies were gassed that summer. Many resisted, but they were pushed into the gas chambers like millions of others.

During those seven weeks, as many as five transports a day arrived at Auschwitz with around 16,000 Jews, according to Nikolaus Wachsmann, author of the recently published “KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps.” KL stands for Konzentration- lager — the thousands of holding pens and killing centers the Germans built across Europe during the Nazi terror. Wachsmann’s book is the most complete study of the Nazi genocide, well written with maps and statistics that ordinary readers can follow.

They were not all teenage survivors: One transport, which included a young mother with several children, stopped in its tracks outside Auschwitz as the Germans began to negotiate with the Allies to ransom the hostages.

Anne Frank arrived in Auschwitz on Sept. 4 in one of the last transports from Holland and was moved to other camps like my mother. They both wound up in Bergen-Belsen, where Anne and her sister Margot died a few months before liberation.

Magda Schwarz was three months pregnant when she was deported from Nyiregyhaza and arrived at Auschwitz in June 1944.

She didn’t tell the guards she was pregnant and gave birth in December to a girl in Dachau, where she had been moved a few weeks earlier.

I knew that girl when I was a boy in Hungary. A former schoolteacher, she’s now 72. Her mother died in 1990.

My mother was a prisoner in the death camps for one year almost to the day — when she first went into the ghetto on April 16, 1944, and her liberation by the British army on April 15, 1945.

My father was liberated at Mauthausen concentration camp by the U.S. Army on May 5, 1945. The black soldiers who entered the camp wept at what they saw.

My mother was buried last Wednesday next to my father at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Miami less than 24 hours after she passed away, as required by Jewish custom, with two rabbis participating in the funeral. My parents have a grave of their own, unlike their parents and dozens of their relatives and millions of other victims who were gassed and cremated, their ashes rising through the chimneys of Auschwitz and buried under Polish soil.

She passed away exactly 10 years and a month after my dad.

The week after she passed away, a gentle rain fell over Arkansas, the remnant of Hurricane Irma, as if the skies wept for all the victims of man-made and natural disasters.

There will be no more horrors for them from now on.

TOP STORY >> Cabot’s mayor hosts breakfast

Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert will host a Breakfast with the Mayor from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Saturday at the Fire and Police Training center on the second floor of the Plaza Building behind city hall.

Breakfast will be a potluck and seating space is limited.

“I will present at this session the improvements strategy and financial requirements for city street excavation and paving as well as overlays for the next five years,” Cypert said.

“We will also begin to discuss continued redevelopment of the downtown area amenities, sidewalk connectivity, farmers market, recreational settings such as the skate park, and other venues and improvements to keep the downtown active, well and developing along with the event and senior centers and schools,” the mayor added.

After the breakfast, a ribbon cutting and grand opening for Cabot’s new dog park will be held at 9 a.m. at the Community Pond, on the Kerr Station Road side.

Cabot will also hold a town-hall meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 in the Veterans Park Event Center. The mayor noted this event “will have plenty of space and seating.”

“I plan to briefly recap city progress for the last six years and point out plans for the immediate future. Of course, ample time will be left for citizen input,” he said.

TOP STORY >> Local efforts after hurricane

Little Rock Air Force Base participated in disaster-relief efforts for the second time in two weeks after another devastating hurricane.

The base’s 41st Airlift Squadron, part of the 19th Airlift Wing, transported more than 100 medical personnel to Orlando on Saturday to prepare for the response to Hurricane Irma.

The storm morphed into a tropical storm by early Monday, dumping rain in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. The rain here on Tuesday was also from Irma’s remnants.

The 41st Airlift Squadron flew to Dallas and Houston, Texas, to pick up U.S. Public Health Service Rapid Deployment Force personnel and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, and their medical equipment.

“Our mission is to assist in response to Hurricane Irma,” said Ronda Lacey, commander of the Alabama-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team. “We’re here to help the state of Florida and the people who are in need of medical assistance there. It’s an honor to help our country in this critical time.”

Doctors, registered nurses, mid-level technicians, a dentist and an infectious disease specialist were among the U.S. Public Health Service and Disaster Medical Assistance Team personnel prepared to support relief efforts. The responders brought medical equipment like pharmaceuticals, oxygen tanks, triage kits and basic first-aid supplies.

Staff Sgt. Efrain Huereque, a 41st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, said, “Even though we don’t get to do this often, it’s very rewarding. It feels good to help people in need.”

A press release from the base noted the mission was part of a coordinated effort with civilian agencies.

Nurse paramedic Jessica Picanzo with the Tennesse-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team said, “It’s a joint effort. We received a notification 12 hours ago, and now we’re in the air. We’re able to respond so quickly because of our military partners.”

Before Hurricane Irma’s arrival, several aircraft and their crews from Hurlburt Field, an Air Force installation in the west of Florida’s panhandle, sought refuge at LRAFB along with U-28As, CV-22 Ospreys, MC-130H Combat Talon IIs and more.

Those aircraft departed on Tuesday.

Hurricane Irma passed over Florida Saturday and Sunday, moving its way up from the Florida Keys causing widespread flooding, power outages and leaving at least 12 people dead.

The damage in Florida appears to be less than in the Houston area, where evacuations were not mandatory and at least 70 people died, after Hurricane Harvey hit Aug. 25.

Millions of people fled Florida last week in what is believed to be the largest evacuation in history. Irma had caused more than 40 deaths across the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm. It was a Category 3 by the time it hit the Keys.

Base leadership said LRAFB is prepared to deploy more storm-relief assets if needed.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, which includes Jacksonville-based First Electric, dispatched 145 linemen and equipment to assist electric cooperatives in Florida and South Carolina with power-outage restoration.

Approximately 6 million people were still without power in Florida on Tuesday.

About 100 of the linemen will work in cooperatives in South Carolina, while 45 linemen will assist in restoring service in Florida, a number of whom are with First Electric.

Monday, September 11, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Another comeback for Beebe

Special to The Leader

In this seasons’ annual rivalry game between the Beebe Badgers and the Lonoke Jackrabbits, the teams faced off in Week Two at James B. Abraham Stadium in Lonoke. 

Both teams were Week One winners, but it was the Badgers who remained undefeated, going ahead in the second half to win 34-13. Lonoke scored first, and it was the only score of the first half, but Beebe scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and two to the Jackrabbits one in the fourth to set the final margin. 

“I’m proud of them.” Beebe coach John Shannon said. “We’re learning to play with some adversity. The first half didn’t go very good for us. But we never quit, and we never got down on each other, which happened some last year. We just kind of stuck together, and we came out the second half, drove it down the field and scored, and then the momentum was with us, and we just got to rolling. We’re cleaning up our game, we’re playing smarter, and we’re playing harder, and I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”

The first quarter was scoreless, with Lonoke turning the ball over on downs, and the Badgers doing the same early in the second quarter on Lonoke’s 10-yard line.

Lonoke drove the 90 yards from there to take the lead.

Quarterback Daniel Seigrist had completions to Braidon Bryant for gains of 10 and nine, and to Connor Linton for 12 and 16 yards to start the drive. Davonta Adams had a run of six, followed by a 34-yard scamper to the 3-yard line for a first and goal. Connor Bieker made the touchdown-saving tackle for Beebe, but Adams carried for the three yards and the touchdown on the next play. Nick Tate added the extra point for the 7-0 edge.

The Jackrabbits had the ball on the ball on the 9-yard line with 15 seconds remaining in the half, thanks to another 11-yard completion from Seigrist to Linton, an 11-yard keeper by Seigrist, and a 26-yard completion to De’Angelo Noid. The next pass was intercepted by Bieker to end the threat.

The Badgers had the first possession of the second half. Taylor Boyce returned the kick off to the Beebe 47-yard line. Bieker ran for 11 on the first play of the drive, and on the fifth, Kahlil Anthony gained 25 to the 5-yard line. Bieker finished the drive from there with the touchdown. The point after was good by Jaime Rodriguez to tie the score at 7-7.

The Badgers then covered an onside kick for another possession, this time on the Lonoke 37-yard line. Boyce picked up seven, then Anthony the other 30 for the score. Daniel Martinez added the extra point for the 14-7 lead with 8:27 remaining in the third quarter.

A Jackrabbit fumble returned the ball to the visitors. A tackle for loss by E’shaun Brown helped force a fourth down, but Anthony moved the chains with a pick up of nine. An 11-yard pickup by Boyce gave the Badgers first and goal on the three, and C.J. Cauldwell, who had replaced Mason Walker at quarterback at the half, carried the ball in from the one for the touchdown. Rodriguez kicked the PAT for the 21-7 advantage.

The Jackrabbits turned the ball over on downs on the first play of the quarter number four, and after Cauldwell completed a pass to Boyce for 26 yards and to the 2-yard line, he scored again from there. The extra point try was no good, leaving the lead at 27-7 with 9:50 remaining in the game.

On the change in quarterback, coach Shannon said, “At halftime, we just made the decision, hey, he earned the spot, let’s give him a shot and see what happens, and it worked out great for us.”

The Jackrabbits again gave the ball over on downs, and on the first play, Boyce broke free and scored from 66 yards away. Rodriguez made the score 34-7 with his point after.

Lonoke started its ensuing possession from its own 34-yard line. A completion of 26 yards from Seigrist to Ethan Mulligan, a personal foul penalty, and a 13-yard completion to Noid gave the Jackrabbits a first down on the 11-yard line. From there, Seigriest found Bryant for the touchdown reception. The 2-point conversion was no good to set the final score at 34-13.

Lonoke had a nice final drive going, but ran out of time.

“Tale of two halves,” said Lonoke coach Taggart Moore. “We came out and played great the first half and did everything we wanted to do, executed, defense played great. Went in, with the same game plan coming back out. Coach Shannon and them made some good adjustments to us, so we adjusted, and it’s a chess match. They finally started dominating the line of scrimmage a little bit. We got tired. This one stings a little bit, but we’ll come back next week ready to roll.”

The Jackrabbits host Newport next week, while Beebe will host Wynne.

Anthony had 19 rushes for 140 yards and one touchdown for the Badgers. Boyce carried seven times for 97 yards and one touchdown. Cauldwell had rushing touchdowns of two and one yard.

Adams had 79 yards on 12 carries for Lonoke. Bryant had 10 yards rushing, and 41 yards and one touchdown receiving. Seigrist rushed nine times for 45 yards and had 18 completions for 185 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Beebe had 374 yards of total offense. The Jackrabbits had 313 yards.