Each week, there are questions which must be answered about every team across the state. There are a few teams that I have which I feel will be answered this week. We are offering those questions to you today.
Question No. 1: Does El Dorado have what it takes to make a run at three in a row in Class 6A? I believe that question will begin to be answered this Friday night against Class 7A juggernaut Springdale Har-Ber.
Question No. 2: Is Little Rock Central truly headed in the right direction? A big match-up with Class 7A foe Fort Smith Southside will answer the question. The Tigers do not necessarily have to win this football game to show they are headed in the right direction, they just have to show that they have some fight in them, and can hang with one of the top teams in Class 7A.
Question No. 3: Can Pulaski Academy truly compete with anyone on any level in the Natural State? The Bruins took Class 7A Cabot to the wire last year, but they are even better this year. They are ranked in the RivalsHigh.com Top 100, and No. 2 over all in the ArkansasVarsity.com Natural State Top 10 on top of being ranked No. 1 in Class 4A. Are the Bruins really deserving of their national and state rankings? Friday night against Cabot will tell the story.
Question No. 4: Is Jonesboro a legit competitor in Class 6A? They have the opportunity to show they are legit against Class 7A Conway this week. Coach Randy Coleman has given the Hurricane faithful something to cheer about in recent years, and they are loaded with talent to include the state's top prospect in Zac Brooks. The Hurricanes have the chance to serve notice that they are a legit competitor in 6A if they can take out Conway.
Question No. 5: Has Hot Springs Lakeside finally turned the corner? The Rams had a great game in week one against White Hall, and they will face a competent foe in the Malvern Leopards this Friday night. The Rams showed promise last season, and gave Watson Chapel all they wanted in the playoffs last year. Coach Jared McBride has done a tremendous job since taking over as head coach, and has an opportunity to make a statement this Friday night.
Question No. 6: Will Watson Chapel be a competitor in Class 5A this year? The Wildcats have a lot of young talent at the skill positions, but questions remain on the offensive and defensive line. A rivalry game with cross town foe Pine Bluff will answer a lot of questions for both teams. Watson Chapel is coming off of a big victory over Dumas, while Pine Bluff is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Fort Smith Northside.
Question No. 7: Speaking of Northside, are they going to be legit this year? They face a competent foe in the Bryant Hornets this week, and a victory here could charge the team up for a decent run once conference play begins. A victory over Pine Bluff last week shows this team has some fight in them.
Question No. 8: Is Fayetteville quarterback Austin Allen ready to take over where his older brother and current Arkansas Razorback freshman quarterback Brandon Allen left off? Allen and his team will have the opportunity to show that they are ready with a big game against Russellville. The Cyclones are a formidable opponent, and this one could go either way. Allen has his chance to show that he can lead his team to victory as his older brother did in years past.
Question No. 9: Is Star City a legit contender in Class 4A? The Bulldogs lost some talent over the offseason, but they had a big win over Lonoke last week. They face the Rison Wildcats this Friday night, and if there is one thing Rison coach Clay Totty is known for, it is making his team believe they can win any game on any given night. Most have Star City picked to win this game, but I believe you will be able to tell a lot about both teams once the smoke settles on this battle.
Question No. 10: Can Warren overcome a big loss last week to knock out rival Monticello? There is nothing like a great rivalry, and this is one that you should keep your eyes on. Throw the records and the stats out the window, they will not matter Friday night. These two teams want nothing more than to dominate the other, and the Lumberjacks will have the opportunity to show they have some fight left in them if they can knock off the Billies.