The football season in Faulkner County comes at us in waves beginning Monday.
There are games Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday involving county teams and players.
A quick look:
Monday: Conway Christian will make its debut under new coach Justin Kramer against Danville in the second game of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic, presented by hootens.com, at 7:30 p.m at First Security Field at Estes Stadium.
It’ll be a contrasting matchup between CCS’ multiple finesse attack, led by quarterback Jacob Wood, and the Little Johns’ power running game behind a strong offensive line.
It should be an interesting early test of Class 2A football teams who are perennial playoff teams. Coincidentally, both teams were eliminated in the playoffs last season by Mount Ida.
Faulkner fans can also get a bonus in the preliminary game between Pea Ridge and Hamburg, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Pea Ridge senior running back Drew Winn is a brother of graduated Dayton Winn of Hendrix, who was one of the top running backs in NCAA Division III four years.
Tuesday: Mayflower and Central Arkansas Christian will play for the second straight season at 5:30 p.m. in The Buzz ‘s Kickoff Classic at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
CAC prevailed last season, 48-27.
“We had an experienced team and they had a young team; this year, they have an experienced team and we have a young team,” said CAC coach Tommy Shoemaker. “The tables are turned.”
“CAC always has a good team, fundamentally sound with good skill players,” said Mayflower coach Todd Langrell. “They reload.”
On display will be Mayflower junior running back Deon Simmons, who packs a wallop at 5-7, 170 pounds and is one of the most exciting players in the state. “He’s probably the best back I’ve ever coached and I’ve coached some good ones,” said Langrell.
Simmons’ twin brother, Keon, is a standout wide receiver.
Thursday: It’s he much-anticipated opener for the Arkansas Razorbacks against Florida A&M at War Memorial Stadium.
Conway sophomore Colton Jackson will start in the offensive line for the Hogs.
All kinds of questions: the 3-4 defense, the offensive line, the defense and will the second-team quarterback play? Most will not be answered as the Razorbacks should have too much of everything for the Rattlers although A&M opened with a strong 29-7 victory over Texas Southern.
The big disappointment is the Florida A&M band, one of the most entertaining in college football, will not make the trip.
Friday: The remainder of the high school schedule with all Faulkner teams on the road.
Conway plays at Springdale. Greenbrier will have its traditional opener against Beebe at Beebe. Vilonia will begin its second season under Ron Young in Paragould at Greene County Tech.
Saturday: The University of Central Arkansas will play arguably its most challenging opener ever in Manhattan, Kansas, against Kansas State, 20th ranked in NCAA FBS, and legendary coach Bill Snyder.
The Bears are 15th ranked in FCS.
It’s a paycheck game. However, the Bears begin the season with a lot of promise of being a solid Southland Conference and NCAA playoff contender. And UCA has a long history of playing well and being very competitive against higher-level teams.
Buckle up. The wild ride is upon us.