Letterman Magazine

Football

’16 Season Preview: Springdale Har-ber

The Springdale Har-Ber Wildcats surprised many last year with winning the 7-A West Conference championship and advancing to the state championship game before falling to Fayetteville. For Coach Chris Wood and the Har-Ber Wildcats the 2016 season is about taking care of unfinished business. The Wildcats will have experience returning on both sides of the ball with 11 returning starters, 5 on offense and 6 on defense, but will be going into a tough conference schedule once again.

The 2015 season was an impressive one for the Wildcats. Har-Ber went 11-2 on the season and won the rugged 7-A West Conference. The two losses on the season were to two excellent football teams in Webb City High School out of Missouri and Arkansas state champion Fayetteville High School. Har-Ber was impressive in all phases of the team during the 2015 season. The impressive victories list last season was an impressive one. Wins over Fayetteville, Conway, and Bentonville were the most impressive games of the season last year. Building on the success of last season is the goal for the 2016 season.

The Har-Ber offense is facing questions at the quarterback position for the 2016 season. Har-Ber has several options to choose from at the quarterback spot. Aaron Hennington saw some action last season and is an accurate passer with a strong arm. Hennington should see plenty of snaps this season, he is a traditional pocket quarterback and that could prove dangerous for the rest of the 7-A West. Other quarterback possibilities include Payton Cooper, Grant Allen, and Treshon Parman. The Wildcats are at no shortage of talent at the quarterback position.

The Har-Ber offense has talent all over the field. Senior wide receiver Trey Smith is back and should see plenty of snaps barring injuries. Smith is an explosive player with good hands and can be a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Another player that can stretch the field for the Wildcats is Tevin Eckwood. Eckwood can line up all over the field and is a dangerous receiver as well as a solid running back. The offense has plenty of weapons and the Wildcats should be an exciting offense to watch this season.

The defense for the Wildcats should be an impressive group once again this season. Fans and college recruiters’ eyes will be directed toward the defensive line. Defensive tackle Alejandro Ramirez will be an impact player for the Wildcats this season. Ramirez has a mix of power and speed that is rare for players his 6’2’ 310 lbs frame. Fans should look for Ramirez to become the target of division 1 coaches this season. Defensive end Riley Bean is another player that will be a division one prospect. Bean is 6’6” 250 lbs and has very good speed in rushing the quarterback. The defense will be a factor for the Wildcats this season. With as many explosive offenses that call the 7-A West home, getting some stops will be crucial and Har-Ber has the defensive talent to get the stops.

Springdale Har-Ber is going to be a factor for the 7-A West championship but will also contend heavily for the state championship in 2016. The offense may experience some growing pains, but I expect them to be solid by the time conference play opens up. The 2016 schedule is a challenging one for the Wildcats. Har-Ber will play host to Missouri power Jefferson City and travel to Jenks out of Oklahoma during the first three weeks of the season. I fully expect Har-Ber to be a force and contend once again for the state championship.

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