The Bentonville West Wolverines come into the 7-A West as the brand new school in Northwest Arkansas. With all things that are new, Coach Bryan Pratt is learning what he has at his disposal. Coach Pratt was good enough to take time out of his day to give me a tour of the facilities up at Bentonville West, which are state of the art and something that the people of Bentonville and Centerton should be very proud of. Most people will view the Wolverines as an expansion team, and that viewpoint is one that will likely be a mistake.
At this point in the article, we usually take a look back at the previous season, which will not be the case for this school. Bentonville West will instead face a difficult schedule, sitting in the 7-A West Conference, which is the way Coach Pratt likes it. The non-conference slate is going to be a tough test for the Wolverines as well. Bentonville West opens on the road against Pryor High School and travel to Little Rock to take on Central High School before returning home to take on Muskogee High School.
The roster is a young one, with no seniors showing up anywhere on the depth chart. Talent does appear on the roster though, so folks should not be thinking this is an expansion team or a college team just getting off the ground. Sophomore quarterback Will Jarrett may experience growing pains but he has a great arm and does well in reading the coverage that the opposing defense throws at him. Sophomore wide receiver Jadon Jackson has division I talent at the wide receiver position. Jackson was impressive last season for the Bentonville Gold Freshman squad catching 18 touchdowns passes on the season.
The offense is in the able hands of Jarrett and Jackson. The defense will be led by junior defensive tackle Ryan Macy. Macy is going to be load to move at over 300 pounds and will cause offensive lines some problems throughout the course of the year. Sophomore Kobe Anderson will spend time at the running back spot, as well as the linebacker spot. Anderson has good speed and is someone that should be solid on both sides of the ball. The defense will be young but the 3-4 defense will allow them to take advantage of the team speed that the Wolverines have and be more disruptive to opposing offenses.
The 7-A West is a tough conference in Arkansas, but the opportunity to get some wins is available for Bentonville West. The schedule includes Bentonville, Fayetteville, and Springdale Har-Ber and those will be some of the difficult games the Wolverines will face in conference play. Games against Rogers, Van Buren, Rogers Heritage, and Springdale could mean a playoff spot being on the line. New season, new school, and plenty of excitement will be coming the Wolverines way. I think Bentonville West may challenge for a playoff spot, they will have to learn quickly and be ready for a brutal schedule, but I think that can be done.