Anyone who has ever played the â€śtelephone gameâ€ť knows how easily the simplest of information can get distorted as it travels from one person to the next in the span of just 10 minutes.
Now, add about 30 years and you will end up with what one Benton coach calls â€śdistorted history.â€ť
Benton track and field coach Lewis Pryor has become something of a legend at Benton High School, where his accolades include a state championship in football and a runner-up finish at a national championship with Henderson College.
This weekend is what the Lady Hornets have been waiting for all season: the 7A State Tournament Championship.
And in order for the defending champs to be successful Saturday against its 7A Central foe North Little Rock, the Lady Hornets will need big games from their pitcher-catcher combo, juniors Peyton Jenkins and Jessie Taylor.
The 17-year-old â€śbeats,â€ť as head coach Debbie Clark affectionately calls them, have led the team in the field and at the plate.
It takes a monumental event to wake me up early on a Saturday morning.
If thereâ€™s no hunting season on and you see me roaming around before the sunâ€™s above the horizon, run for the hills because the apocalypse might be at hand.
So when I heard the old wooden seats at Ray Winder Field were being given away, I did the unthinkable: set my alarm.
And I wasnâ€™t alone. Last Saturday hundreds of us descended upon the old home of the Arkansas Travelers, eager for an opportunity to take home a piece of team history.
At the 54th annual Meet of Champions held Saturday at Lake Hamilton High School, Bryant sophomore Alexis Royal won the triple-jump title.
With wind speeds up to 25 mph buffeting the competitors, Royal jumped 36 feet, 11 inches on her second attempt to secure her victory.
Royalâ€™s margin of victory was a full 10 inches farther than the other competitors. Jasmine Marks of Camden Fairview was second with a jump of 36â€™1.
SHERWOOD â€” The game of softball is all about momentum, and in Mondayâ€™s semifinal game between Benton and Mountain Home momentum was being tossed between the two teams like a hot potato.
â€śWe got the most out of our momentum,â€ť coach Eric Ryan said. â€śWe would get it and they would get it. We would go back and forth.â€ť
The Benton Lady Panthers scored five runs in the seventh inning to defeat Mountain Home 7-5 to advance to their third straight 6A State Final in Fayetteville.
By beating Little Rock Catholic 7-6 Monday in the 7A State Tournament semifinals in Fort Smith, Bryant advances to the championship game, which it is looking to win for the second straight year.
The Hornets will take on championship-round host Conway at 5:30 p.m Saturday.
Head coach Kirk Bock, whose team is 23-6 on the year (10-4 7A Central), said Saturdayâ€™s game against the Wampus Cats â€śis going to be a chore.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™re kind of tired of playing people in our conference,â€ť Bock said, laughing.
After the Lady Beaversâ€™ season came to an end Friday, Glen Rose head coach Kyle Lem said it will be difficult to replace the teamâ€™s five senior starters.
Particularly his two starting pitchers, seniors Madison Jacobs and Tiffany Houpt.
Seniors Stephanie Farber (center field), Hollie Boles (shortstop) and Katie Peterson (left field) also will be graduating â€” and leaving big shoes to fill.
Still, Lem said his squad has a strong foundation to build on for the programâ€™s future.Â
Both defending state champions advanced to the 7A State Tournament semifinals Saturday, with the Hornets beating Cabot 7-5 and the Lady Hornets beating Springdale Har-Ber 10-0.
Hornets head coach Kirk Bock said the wind at the tournament in Fort Smith was a major factor in the game.
"They did a great job of scattering some hits around," he said. "It was unbelievable how hard that wind was blowing. Defensively, any popup was an adventure."
SHERWOOD â€” Before Saturday's game against Russellville, Benton head coach Eric Ryan was unsure who he would start in the circle. With three quality pitchers to choose from, anyone could have started, but Ryan decided to go with the proven-senior leader Jessica Smith.
"She has had a little bit more pop on her fast ball and good movement," Ryan said.
It paid off as Smith pitched a complete game, allowing just one run (earned) on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk as the Lady Panthers defeated Russellville 7-1 at Sherwood in the second round of the 6A State Tournament.
The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Perryville 4-2 in the first round of the 3A State Tournament at Prescott High School Friday afternoon.
In the seventh, Morgan Ramsey reached on a one-out walk and with two outs senior Kaylee Allen hit a line drive up the middle to move Ramsey to third. Macy Coffee walked to load the bases and two runs would score on a hit by Stephanie Parins.
Molly White gave Harmony Grove a two-run lead when she single home Coffee.