When the Hornets and Lady Hornets step onto the diamond today, both teams will be battling for a second straight state championship â€” a feat scarcely seen.
And if you ask either coach about the otherâ€™s team, youâ€™re bound to hear similar words of respect and admiration.
Baseball head coach Kirk Bock said, â€śWeâ€™re pretty good, but theyâ€™re really good,â€ť adding that softball head coach Debbie Clark â€śdoes a tremendous job with those girls.â€ť
For Bryant head coach Kirk Bock, the Hornets have lived up to the title of defending state champions.
â€śTheyâ€™ve done everything were asked them to and more,â€ť he said. â€śTheyâ€™ve battled hard all year.â€ť
And after winning the 7A Central again, this weekend Bryant (21-6, 10-4) heads into the 7A State Tournament in Fort Smith as a No. 1 seed, looking to repeat last yearâ€™s championship run.
With a first-round bye, at noon Saturday the Hornets will face the winner of Fridayâ€™s game between Springdale Har-Ber and Cabot.
It has been a dream for Brad Matthews to coach at one of the highest levels in high school basketball. Wednesday night, that dream came true as Matthews was hired as the new head coach for the Bryant Lady Hornets.
â€śIâ€™m excited,â€ť Matthews said. â€śIt is a tough conference, and it is going to be a great challenge. It is something Iâ€™m looking forward to doing.
â€śBryant has a great girls basketball program.â€ť
Newly appointed athletic director Mike Lee introduced himself to a group of coaches, staff, fans and media Wednesday afternoon.
â€śI want to be seen as a servant,â€ť Lee said. â€śI want to facilitate their efforts and ensure the culture of Bryant continues to grow.
â€śI donâ€™t want to walk around as boss, I am here to help.â€ť
Lee was named the athletic director May 4 during an executive session of a school board personnel hearing. The position comes with a $65,179.20 12-month salary.
The Benton Lady Panthers used three different pitchers Monday afternoon to prepare for this weekendâ€™s state tournament as Benton defeated Watson Chapel 4-0 on the road.
â€śI sat down with them before the game and told them we were going to go 2-2-3,â€ť coach Eric Ryan said. â€śWe wanted to try to get some work in and get ready for the tournament.â€ť
Jessica Smith pitched the first two innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts and no walks. Lauren White pitched the next two innings, allowing two hits with no strikeouts and no walks but did hit a batter.
The Benton Panthers defeated Monticello 12-2 in a non-conference game Monday at home. Benton, who has already secured the two seed in the 6A State Tournament, scored three runs in the first inning, five in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth.
Monticello scored a run in the first and fifth innings.
Following back-to-back singles by Greg Pryor and Garrison Roy to lead off the bottom of the second, Levon Steward hit a three-run home run. Two outs later, Joseph Henry singled, and Stuart Levy hit a two-run home run to give the Panthers a 8-1 lead.
In a battle for the 7A Central title, the Lady Hornets came up short Monday, losing 4-3 to North Little Rock in extra innings.
However, since both teams have only two conferences losses, both will share the title of conference champion.
Bryant (21-5, 12-2 7A Central) lost both of its conference games at the hands of North Little Rock, who earned the No. 1 seed in the state tournament beginning Friday in Bentonville.
The Sheridan Yellowjackets defeated Texarkana 10-5 Friday night to secure the No. 3 seed in next weekâ€™s 6A State Tournament in Marion.
Zac Perkins pitched a complete game, with really one bad inning coming in the third. Two walks, two errors and a hit allowed for Texarkana to score three runs to trim the deficit to 6-3, after Sheridan had scored six runs in the bottom of the first.
The Central Arkansas USBC Bowling Association will be inducting three members, including one Benton resident, into their bowling Hall of Fame on May 21 at the Cajuns Wharf restaurant in Little Rock.
Wilma Laha, Danny Fuller and Benton resident Felicia Burlison will all be inducted this month.
Laha, who has been bowling for nearly 45 years, is being inducted for her service with association after serving at nearly every position, including secretary, vice president, and on the board of directors.
She was voted secretary of the year two times.
Glen Rose advanced to the 3A Region 2 Tournament final Saturday with a 4-3 extra inning win over Cutter-Morning Star.
The Lady Beavers, the tournament No. 3 seed, will face No. 1 seed Rosebud t 5 p.m. Monday at Harding Academy in Searcy.
With a win, Glen Rose will earn a No. 1 seed in the state tournament beginning Friday in Prescott. By winning Friday, the Lady Beavers already earned a spot in the state tournament, and winning Saturday earned them at least a No. 2 spot.