Letterman Magazine


The Eckwood Family: Arkansas’ Athletic Dynasty

The Eckwood Family is a name that is very well known to the folks that follow athletics in the state of Arkansas. Jerry Eckwood is an Arkansas Razorbacks legend and is one of the best running backs the State of Arkansas has ever produced. Stan Eckwood played at Harding Academy and went on to play in the NBA for the Portland Trailblazers. Theron Eckwood was a great athlete as well in what was a loaded Pine Bluff High School during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Theron led the Pine Bluff Zebras to the overall state basketball title as the team’s point guard. However, Jerry, Stan, and Theron are not the only talented members of the Eckwood Dynasty. The next generation of Eckwoods are proving themselves on the football field, basketball court, and in the game of life.

Theron Eckwood and Tyra Eckwood have five sons that have excelled or are currently excelling in athletics and in life. In 2005, the Fayetteville Bulldogs were one of the best teams in the State of Arkansas. Bryan Eckwood started on the Purple Dog defense on what was a talented football team. Bryan was able to crack the starting lineup as a sophomore and helped solidify a very sound defense. Bryan and the Purple Dogs wound up finishing 5th in the state in 2005 and helped Fayetteville Coach Daryl Patton lay the groundwork for some very successful seasons yet to come. Bryan is currently a police officer in Saint Louis and is the first of a successful Eckwood next generation.

Ladarius Eckwood is one of the most polished wide receivers to come out of Springdale in several years. Ladarius committed to University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and had a very successful career for the Golden Lions. In 2012, Ladarius helped the Golden Lions to their first SWAC Championship since 1966. Ladarius was a dangerous threat and playmaker and led UAPB in every receiving category. Ladarius is currently working to make the NFL and I have no doubt he will accomplish this goal.

The next son in line is Tereke Eckwood. Tereke is simply one of the best guards in the State of Arkansas as we enter the 2014/2015 season. Tereke has been All-Conference as well as All State over the past few seasons. Last year, Tereke helped lead the Springdale Bulldogs to within an eyelash of upsetting the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats in the state title game. Tereke had scholarship offers from Southeast Missouri State as well as Prairie View A&M. Tereke was able to commit to Central Missouri before the season started and he will be able to provide the Mules with a quality ball handler and solid passer. In talking with Theron for preparation of this article, he has areas like all dads do, on areas where he thinks his son needs to improve on the court. Those areas are “working on the three point jumper and continuing to work on his defense.” Tereke will have a chance to shine with the Mules. I fully expect him to do big things in his senior season at Springdale Har-Ber this year and at Central Missouri next year.

Tavari Eckwood is the next young Eckwood to keep an eye on. Tavari has impressed many on the football field as well as the basketball court. Tavari currently plays at Southwest Junior High in Springdale for the 8th and 9th grade teams. Tavari has shined on track and field events in recent months and he has used that quickness from the track and translated it to the football field and the basketball court. Tavari will be the next Eckwood to catch the eye of scouts and recruiters. Tavari has already caught the eye of folks at Southeast Missouri State and I have no doubt he will catch the eyes of others as he gets older.

The Eckwood family is not just a successful athletic family, although that is not in question. The Eckwoods are a hardworking, classy, intelligent, and caring. The Eckwoods symbolize what the state of Arkansas is all about: hard work, doing your part for the family or team, and being ready to answer the call when needed. The Eckwoods continue to shine and it has been an honor visiting with them and covering this fine family over the years.

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