ROSE BUD — No waiting around this time.
The Melbourne Junior Bearkatz opened the football season here Thursday night with a 14-12, come-from-behind victory over the Rose Bud Junior Ramblers.
This time last year, the Junior Ramblers thumped the Junior ’Katz in what was Melbourne’s first-ever varsity contest. They lost their second game before winning their last six.
NEWPORT — Both head coaches said they expected a competitive game between their two junior high football teams, and their predictions couldn’t have been more true as the game ended Thursday night in a 20-20 tie.
Lately, the Batesville Junior Pioneers had dominated the series with rival Newport, outscoring the Greypups 113-18 during a 3-game span, but it looked like the home team might earn a victory when they were leading by two scores in the third quarter.
MELBOURNE — The high school junior varsity football game set here for Saturday evening has been canceled, announced Melbourne Athletic Director Tim Massey.
Rector, due to an insufficient number of players on its roster, asked for the cancellation, Massey said. Rector had previously canceled its varsity schedule, but had hoped to field enough players to compete on the junior varsity level.
The game was to have been the season opener for Melbourne’s JV team. Now, it will be Tuesday night when the Bearkatz host the Marshall Bobcats.
CAVE CITY — The Highland Lady Rebels and Rebels dominated here Tuesday, winning 13 of 16 tennis matches on the high school courts.
Cave City’s victories came from Mackenzie Holt and Rebecca Steele in girls doubles, and the boys doubles teams of Jordan Felts-Parker Nolen and Cain Cherry-Patrick England.
Highland 7, Cave City 1
Singles: Tabby McNulty (H) defeated Jasmine Tate 6-2; Emma Johnson (H) defeated Ashley Green 6-2; Candice Seward (H) defeated Allison Green 6-1; Brittany Reding (H) defeated Shayla Houghton 6-0
LOCUST GROVE — The third annual Rockhard Powder Coating Front-wheel Drive Special, originally set for Aug. 5, is scheduled for Friday at Batesville Motor Speedway.
Driver Tony Brooks finished first in the two previous Rockhard Specials. This year’s winner will receive a $500 prize.
Racers will also compete for points in the NeSmith late model, factory stock, IMCA modified and street stock categories. The last night of points racing is set for Sept. 9.
Here are the top-10 drivers and their point totals listed by division:
NEWPORT — Don Holcomb took first place in the street divison at Speedy’s Dragstrip here Sunday.
James Spence finished second and Steve Simpson was third.
In other races, Gary Spicer won first in the foot brake class and was followed by Ed Littlejohn and Kyle Williams, respectively.
William Runyan turned in the fastest time in the super-pro division. Tom Clary claimed second and Brad Guthire placed third.
Jason Russell finished first in the outlaw street bike class.
Races are scheduled to resume on Sept. 11.
EDEN ISLE — The Heber Springs Panthers claimed a 12-stroke victory over the Southside Southerners Wednesday at the Red Apple Inn and Country Club.
The Panthers shot a team total of 135 on nine holes and were led by a 2-over-par 38 shot by medal-winner Jackson Thomas. Scoring for Southside were Wyat Gambill (41), Tanner McGuire (53) and Clint Thomas (53). Dalton Lamons’ 58 and Colton Young’s 67 were not counted in the final team score.
The Lady Panthers (165) edged the Lady Southerners (169) by four strokes to take the team title.
Former Batesville High Coach Ted Box is one of four who will be inducted into the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame here Saturday afternoon, according to Owen B. Moseley, one of the hall’s committee members.
Box will be joined by Lavaughn Robertson, a former basketball star at Rector and Lyon College, Randy Rogers, who is best known for his baseball days at Rector, Arkansas State and in the minor leagues, and Gary McClure, another Rector basketball star.
Southside Southerner Coach Kenny Simpson hopes the seniors on his squad can notch their first varsity win Friday when his team hosts the Cedar Ridge Timberwolves.
“The kids are tired of hearing about how they have never won a game,” Simpson said. “We want to start a new streak. We want it to be 1-0.”
The T-wolves won last year’s matchup 38-36.
“We got ahead of them pretty quick,” said T-wolves Head Coach Todd Lovell. “They started making a charge in the second half, but we were able to hold them off. We are expecting them (Southside) to be pretty good this year.”
No wonder Newport’s rookie head coach hinted that how the Greyhound defense performs Friday night in Pioneer Stadium may be the best early indicator of the team’s progress.
One, Coach Jeromy Poole’s background is defense. He and Kenneth Chick were co-defensive coordinators for the Greenwood Bulldogs, the Class 5A state champions last fall. That championship run was their fourth in six years and Poole played a role in three.
The Batesville Junior High Pioneers will get their first up-close glimpse at the new look of an old rival Thursday night at Greyhound Field in Newport.
Traditionally, the Greypups have featured a run-oriented offense and man-to-man coverage on defense, but things changed drastically during the off-season. The hiring of Jeromy Poole to lead the high school squad has led to new schemes being implemented on both teams.