More so than usual, high school football fans in Blytheville, Paragould and Wynne will be watching scoreboards Friday night.
In order, that’s where the Blytheville Chickasaws and Batesville Pioneers, Greene County Tech Eagles and West Helena Cougars and Wynne Yellowjackets and Paragould Rams are scheduled to play. The extra interest is because five of those six teams are playing for three playoff spots with three regular-season games to go.
Lyon College forward Anja Klotzle dented the net with a free-kick goal in the 76th minute to lead the Pipers to a 3-2 victory over Lindenwood University on Wednesday in a nonconference match at Huser Field.
Lyon (7-2-1) snaps a 2-match winless string and beat Lindenwood for the first time in three meetings. Lindenwood falls to 5-7-1 overall and is 2-2-1 in its last five matches.
Klotzle scored two goals in the match and moved her team-leading total to 12 this season. The second was the 25th of her career at Lyon.
The Batesville Junior Pioneers are the only unbeaten team against 5A-East District teams and the next challenge comes from the Blytheville Junior Chickasaws on Thursday night in Pioneer Stadium.
Batesville is 4-0 in the conference after wins against Nettleton, Paragould, Forrest City and Wynne. Blytheville is 3-1 with its lone loss coming to Wynne. The victories were against Nettleton, Greene County Tech and West Helena.
Cave City Coach Travis Stewart said his team will be in for a daunting task Thursday night, but hopes his squad will continue to grow.
“If we can improve from last week like we did from the week before, we will give ourselves a good chance,” Stewart said. “I think they realized their potential last week and now they understand that good things happen when we do the little things right.”
The Junior Cavemen (0-6, overall; 0-5, 3A-3 District) will have to contend with a potent running attack, Stewart said.
The Heber Springs Junior Panthers are rare. The visitors for a 4A-2 District North Division football game in Southside Thursday night have lived up to what people said of them.
That was the first thing that first-year Coach David Farr said when asked what the Junior Panthers have done, compared to what he expected of them.
“It being my first year I didn’t know what to expect, but people here told me this group is made up of a bunch of winners,” he said. “They were right. These kids go out there every time and play really hard.”
BEE BRANCH — Concord swept South Side-Bee Branch in non-conference basketball season openers here Tuesday night.
The Pirates won 76-37 as Chase Thomas scored 26 points and Derek Burnett and Slade Storemont added 11 each. The Pirates jumped out to a 26-10 first-quarter lead.
Sparked by Casey Gorecke’s all-around performance, the Lady Pirates won 60-44. Gorecke recorded 16 points, 15 rebounds and five steals. Andrea Davis and Morgan Benton added 16 and 10 points, respectively.
The Cave City Cavewomen are hosting the Southside Lady Southerners on Thursday for the annual “Dig Pink” volleyball match.
The event is held in conjunction with the Sideout Foundation. Volleyball teams across the nation will play to honor the victims and the survivors of breast cancer.
On Friday night, Lyon College will host conference foe Martin Methodist in Becknell Gymnasium. Proceeds will be donated to Side-Out, an organization which supports breast cancer awareness and research to fight the deadly disease.
HOT SPRINGS — Top-seeded Helon Ricks of Hot Springs Lakeside defeated Batesville’s Krystal Pham 6-0, 6-0 in a semifinal match of the Class 5A State Tournament here Tuesday.
Lakeside swept the team titles as Mary Wright and Parker Allen won the singles titles. Wright defeated teammate Ricks 6-4, 1-0 (retired).
CONWAY — For the second straight year, the Cave City Cavewomen are headed to the Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament.
Cave City earned the trip with a 25-22, 25-19, 12-25, 25-20 win over Nemo Vista in the third-place game of the 3A-Central Conference Tournament here Tuesday night.
Rachel Roebuck collected 35 points and 29 kills, each a career-best. Courtney Ewing added a personal-best 10 blocks and Kendra Demster was credited with a career-high 25 assists.
If the high school and youth sports programs in your town aren’t already having trouble paying their bills, they will soon.
And if that doesn’t sound like headline-worthy news in this battered economy, just wait. You’ll have your pick of headlines from the ripples it creates soon enough: fatter kids, more dropouts and less safe streets.
You also won’t have to wonder why the college and pro teams you follow from the couch don’t seem quite as good as they used to be.