In the 95 degree plus sweltering heat on the artificial turf of Alumni Field, ten schools continued their preseason preparation for the upcoming 2022 football season. Among the ten schools participating in the camp were two schools from Logan County, Booneville and Paris. Other schools included the host Charleston Tigers, Lamar, Ozark, Muldrow, Two Rivers, Danville, and Lincoln. It was truly a very hot day that arrived a little early this summer, and with the camp taking place on the turf in Charleston, the surface temperature was approximately ten degrees warmer. But the coaches, headed up by camp host and Charleston head football coach, Ricky May, did a very good job in protecting the players by providing frequent breaks and constantly providing fluids to keep them hydrated. In fact, the coaches cancelled the final period of the camp due to the extreme heat.
There was a lot of talent on the field during the camp, but most impressively, the Booneville Bearcats’ offense appeared to be in mid-season form as they demonstrated their physical brand running the football that has become a hallmark of their program. The Bearcats are moving to the 3A-1 conference in the fall, and with little doubt, a big showdown with Charleston is inevitable and will likely be for the conference championship.
The Charleston Tigers, undefeated champions of the 2021 3A-1 conference, have several returning players in 2022. Among a talented senior class, the Tigers “All Everything” senior quarterback, Brandon Scott, will be among the highest rated quarterbacks in the state, and could be the highest rated quarterback in Class 3A. Scott is an experienced and highly talented quarterback who posses great athleticism and can effectively run and pass the football. This year’s showdown with Booneville should be one of the best football games across the state this fall.
After two straight years of going at least two rounds deep into the state football playoffs, the Paris Eagles graduated a deep and talented senior class at the end of the 2021 football season. But the Eagles will return several players who saw considerable action last year when the team had big leads and were able to take the places of starters in the second half. Among those is two-way player Maddox Watts. Maddox will replace Chase Watts who started three years at quarterback for Paris. Maddox is an experienced player on defense as a member of the Paris secondary and saw considerable mop-up duty at quarterback last season. The Eagles will be counting on him and other returning roster players this fall. Second year head coach, Jeff Weaver, is known as a very good teacher and developer of players and talent, and this writer believes his influence will be evident each week as his team gains experience.
The Eagles’ will play in a new conference that will entail significant travel time to play South Arkansas powers such as Glen Rose and Centerpoint. It will be a very challenging year for Paris, but I look for the Eagles to be a pleasant surprise this season and possibly contend for a four or five seed in the state playoffs.
Schools will continue to practice and attend other camps until the Arkansas Activities Association’s (AAA) mandatory dead period takes place during the last week of June and extends through the end of the first week in July. Once teams return in July, their focus will begin to narrow as they lead up to the first week of the season in August.
RNN will be there for our readers every week of the season to bring you all the action of the 2022 high school football season. Football fans can also find additional photos taken at the Charleston Football Camp on Facebook at Paris Eagles Sports.
Thanks again to our readership and everyone in Logan County and the surrounding area for subscribing to the RNN Logan County newspaper!