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Fort Smith Southside High School News

Southside 60, Subiaco 43 Mykale Franks scored 24 points and the Southside Mavericks defeated Subiaco, 60-43, in a benefit boys basketball game Saturday. The Mavericks open the season for keeps Tuesday against Ozark. The Trojans used a 15-2 first quarter run to grab a 20-14 lead after a quarter. Subiaco, however, managed just 10 points (four in the second and six in the third) over the next 16 minutes. Conner King led the Trojans with 16 points. Junior Jairo Phonesouphan added eight points for the Mavericks....

11/17/2019

Fort Smith Southside High School News

The city championship was all that remained for Northside and Southside on a cold November night. No conference championship, no playoff seedings, not even a playoff berth was to be decided in the final game of the regular season on Friday night. The Grizzlies did retain Fort Smith bragging rights with a 35-12 win for their fourth straight victory over the Mavericks at Southside’s Jim Rowland Stadium. Northside increased its lead in the Battle of Rogers Avenue to 32-25-2 and notched the longest winning streak by the Grizzlies over Southside since winning seven straight from 1979 through 1985. Both teams were eliminated from the Class 7A playoffs with last week’s losses. The last time both teams missed the post-season in the same season was 1980 when Northside was a member of the large-school conference, which played a round-robin schedule before it was absorbed into the current playoff format in 1983. Northside and Southside will meet again in just nine months in week zero of the 2020 season as nonconference opponents with Southside moving to the 7A-West for the next two-year cycle of the Arkansas Activities Association’s reclassification. The Fort Smith School District appealed the conference alignment, and a subsequent vote by member schools of Class 7A that would have moved both schools into the 7A-West failed by an 11-5 margin two weeks ago. That will leave Northside and Southside in different conferences for the first time since 1980. Friday, Northside (3-7, 1-6 7A-Central) claimed its first 7A-Central win with a first-half flurry against its rivals. The Grizzlies responded after two scoreless possessions to open the game with three straight scoring drives. After a 5-yard punt by Southside, Northside had to go just 45 yards. Fullback Ty Massey bulled in from a yard out to cap an 8-play scoring drive with eight seconds left in the opening quarter. Slate Stanton booted the first of his five extra points for a 7-0 lead. Northside’s defense stopped a fourth-down try by the Mavericks on their next series with a sack by Montay Parks. Northside needed just five plays to go 58 yards with Drey Norwood scooting the final 17 yards around the left side with 8:00 left in the half for a 14-0 cushion. Northside forced another punt, and four plays later Tyheen Prosise took a screen pass down the right sideline before cutting back and completing a 68-yard touchdown play with 6:29 left in the half to push the lead to 21-0. Drey Norwood bumped Northside’s lead to 28-0 in the third quarter with a 56-yard scoring scamper just 1:49 into the new half. Southside (1-9, 0-7) got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter after Dakota Wareham stopped a Northside drive with a fumble recovery. Luke Wyatt fired a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jack Clark, who was wide open, with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter. Northside answered on its next drive with Matthew Hollenbeck throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to J.T. Thorne on fourth down with 5:43 left for a 35-6 lead. Southside scored its final touchdown when Wyatt scrambled 31 yards with 1:27 left to set the final score. The two teams combined for 256 yards of penalties, including 151 on Northside. At one point, Northside was flagged for three straight 15-yard penalties on one offensive play that resulted in second and 48. Norwood ran for 106 yards and passed for 99 yards to lead Northside’s 402-yard attack. Hollenbeck threw for 128 yards. Prosise had seven catches for 128 yards. Wyatt threw for 159 yards and ran for 80 for Southside, which had 290 yards of offense....

11/9/2019

Fort Smith Northside High School News

The city championship was all that remained for Northside and Southside on a cold November night. No conference championship, no playoff seedings, not even a playoff berth was to be decided in the final game of the regular season on Friday night. The Grizzlies did retain Fort Smith bragging rights with a 35-12 win for their fourth straight victory over the Mavericks at Southside’s Jim Rowland Stadium. Northside increased its lead in the Battle of Rogers Avenue to 32-25-2 and notched the longest winning streak by the Grizzlies over Southside since winning seven straight from 1979 through 1985. Both teams were eliminated from the Class 7A playoffs with last week’s losses. The last time both teams missed the post-season in the same season was 1980 when Northside was a member of the large-school conference, which played a round-robin schedule before it was absorbed into the current playoff format in 1983. Northside and Southside will meet again in just nine months in week zero of the 2020 season as nonconference opponents with Southside moving to the 7A-West for the next two-year cycle of the Arkansas Activities Association’s reclassification. The Fort Smith School District appealed the conference alignment, and a subsequent vote by member schools of Class 7A that would have moved both schools into the 7A-West failed by an 11-5 margin two weeks ago. That will leave Northside and Southside in different conferences for the first time since 1980. Friday, Northside (3-7, 1-6 7A-Central) claimed its first 7A-Central win with a first-half flurry against its rivals. The Grizzlies responded after two scoreless possessions to open the game with three straight scoring drives. After a 5-yard punt by Southside, Northside had to go just 45 yards. Fullback Ty Massey bulled in from a yard out to cap an 8-play scoring drive with eight seconds left in the opening quarter. Slate Stanton booted the first of his five extra points for a 7-0 lead. Northside’s defense stopped a fourth-down try by the Mavericks on their next series with a sack by Montay Parks. Northside needed just five plays to go 58 yards with Drey Norwood scooting the final 17 yards around the left side with 8:00 left in the half for a 14-0 cushion. Northside forced another punt, and four plays later Tyheen Prosise took a screen pass down the right sideline before cutting back and completing a 68-yard touchdown play with 6:29 left in the half to push the lead to 21-0. Drey Norwood bumped Northside’s lead to 28-0 in the third quarter with a 56-yard scoring scamper just 1:49 into the new half. Southside (1-9, 0-7) got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter after Dakota Wareham stopped a Northside drive with a fumble recovery. Luke Wyatt fired a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jack Clark, who was wide open, with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter. Northside answered on its next drive with Matthew Hollenbeck throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to J.T. Thorne on fourth down with 5:43 left for a 35-6 lead. Southside scored its final touchdown when Wyatt scrambled 31 yards with 1:27 left to set the final score. The two teams combined for 256 yards of penalties, including 151 on Northside. At one point, Northside was flagged for three straight 15-yard penalties on one offensive play that resulted in second and 48. Norwood ran for 106 yards and passed for 99 yards to lead Northside’s 402-yard attack. Hollenbeck threw for 128 yards. Prosise had seven catches for 128 yards. Wyatt threw for 159 yards and ran for 80 for Southside, which had 290 yards of offense....

11/9/2019

Fort Smith Northside High School News

When it comes to running, Felicity West makes sure that she has the right mental approach just as she does from a physical standpoint. “We did so much training for our bodies and just getting into physical shape for running, and the main thing I wanted to build on was my mental state because running definitely isn’t just physical, it’s all in your mind and you have to have a very strong mindset to be able to run those three miles efficiently,” West, a three-year cross country runner for the Northside Lady Bears, said. She has also been relatively pleased with how her senior season has transpired up to this point. West has placed second in three different meets, including the runner-up position at last week’s 6A-Central conference meet held at Ben Geren Regional Park. “It’s definitely been one of my best years that I’ve had,” West said. “Starting out with cross country my sophomore year in high school, this is kind of where I’ve hit my peak and I’m really happy about the performances that I’ve had so far this year. “I’ve been able to improve on the things that I’ve wanted to improve on the most, which is just making sure I’m in shape, staying in shape, eating right, drinking right, all that good stuff that comes with running.” On the subject of eating, West likes to eat a lot of carbohydrates but prefers not to eat anything after 8 p.m. Her favorite prerace food is Ramen noodles, which West noted was easy to make and has lots of carbs. But West definitely wanted to maintain an appetite of possessing a strong mental side to her meets. “Just keeping the mindset in that I know my ability and if I stop in the middle of a race or if I slow down or if I don’t give it my all, then I did not run to my fullest, and just trying to keep that mindset is what I’ve been trying to work on and make sure I’ve improved on and all that other stuff,” she said. Now, she’s determined to give it her all for one more race, which will be the state meet this Saturday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. West will be part of the 6A girls portion of the race, which gets under way at 12:30 p.m. She does have some familiarity with the course. Last season, West placed 48th at state; then earlier this season, she ran at Oaklawn for the Lake Hamilton Invitational and got her personal-best time, running a 20:28.50. “I’m hoping I can get up there and at least get into the top 10%,” she said. “I would also like to (set a personal record), in the low 20s maybe or even break 20; my PR right now is 20:28, so I would really like to get close to breaking that at least. “The northwest Arkansas girls are very, very good, they’re very well-trained and it’s really hard to kind of bypass them and get past their ability, but the course, it’s nice to have the exact same course every single year (at state). So there’s no real surprises or anything unless it’s going to be rainy or muddy and I think the weather’s going to hold out pretty well in Hot Springs. ... I’ve been checking all week just to make sure.” West originally grew up running track but started to gain an interest in cross country as a ninth-grader. “I’ve always been a runner; I’ve always run track,” she said. “I remember coming up to coach (Jeff) Lewis (who coaches both track and cross country for the Lady Bears) for the ninth-grade regional track meet. ... I came up to him and I said, ‘Hi, coach Lewis; I would really love to be on your track and field team and what can I do to get started, I’m going to Northside next year.’ “Then he’s like, ‘How about cross country?’ I was like, ‘Wow, cross country,’ like it blew my mind and now I like it more than track, it’s my favorite and I’m glad that he has pushed me.” Lewis, like his pupil, also thinks West’s chances at placing high this weekend at state will be very good. “She has had a great season; each race, she’s ran faster than she did the previous week with the exception of conference, which was a mud fest,” Lewis said. “She could run very close to a 20 at state if the conditions are good, and if she has a great race, I believe she can run under 20 this year. “Her work ethic is second to no one; she has a dream and she is chasing it.” West, who still runs track for Northside, has other non-running related pursuits. Her grade-point average is 4.02 and she is interested in studying forensic psychology in college, where West also hopes to continue to run track and cross country. She enjoys hiking, wakeboarding and traveling, as she has family in California, Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas. Last month, West was even crowned Northside’s Homecoming queen prior to the Grizzlies’ Homecoming football game. There is still literally one thing West wants to do before her cross country career as a Lady Bear comes to an end, which is finishing number one. She has yet to finish first at a meet. “I was kind of hoping to do that during the conference meet, but because of the mud and that it was colder, and then the boys kind of tore up the track before we ran on it, which was difficult,” West said. “Races like that is where your mindset really has to stay strong because when your legs get tired and everything kind of goes numb, not just from like the running but also the mud and water and your feet just get so heavy. “Then you have to remember that you’re running the same race that you’ve always run, the same distance; you just have to be a little stronger mentally and physically.”...

11/7/2019

Fort Smith Southside High School News

Bentonville coach Michelle Smith never doubted Savannah Riney. Riney never doubted her teammates. “We knew in tight moments all year, Savannah was our go-to girl,” Smith said. “I just looked at her and said, ‘Hey, they’re (setters) going to find you no matter where they are.’ “She produced today.” Riney finished with 21 kills and was named the Most Valuable Player after the Lady Tigers rallied Saturday to beat the Mavericks, 16-25, 25-14, 25-11, 25-18, in the 6A finals at BankOZK Arena in Hot Springs. “Any time you’re a game down in the state championship, you get a little worried and you think you might need to mix it up,” Smith said. “That’s when I sat back and thought, ‘Hey, it’s worked this long.’ “I’m not going to make magic by switching up lineups.” The Mavericks (31-6) took the opener, 25-16, without ever falling behind. But Bentonville never trailed in the second set, trailed only briefly (2-1) in third, and refused to let Southside regain any momentum the rest of the way. “I really think Bentonville played outstanding,” Southside coach Natalie Throneberry said. “We kind of started second-guessing ourselves for a minute. “When our hitting fell off a little bit, our defense followed.” Smith felt like the Lady Tigers were too charged up in the opener. “The first game was nerves,” she said. “They’re playing in a gym they’ve never played in before, and when I brought them around for the second game I said, ‘Hey, it’s just another game.’ I’ve had groups that were strictly business, I’ve had groups that played off emotion, and I’ve had groups that just needed to relax.” “The first set we were just getting our nerves out,” Riney said. “We’ve never played anywhere this big. I think we were just sort of psyched ourselves out. But we trusted each other and we were good after that.” Southside junior Aleigha Johnson finished with four of her six blocks in the opening set. But Riney seemed to be everywhere the Mavericks weren’t in the second set. After helping the Tigers build a quick 5-1 lead, the Mavericks’ rallied to within 13-8 on kills by Toree Tiffee and Bailey Vega. But Riney responded with back-to-back kills, and before Southside knew what hit them, the deficit had swelled to 18-9. The Mavericks closed to within 19-14 on one of Johnson’s six kills, but any hope of carrying over some late momentum in the second set went by the wayside as the Tigers closed out the game, 25-14. The Mavericks led once (2-1 on Avery Fitzgerald’s ace) in the third game before Bentonville quickly pulled ahead by five (10-5). Southside just didn’t have an answer. “Losses teach you a lot about yourself,” Throneberry said. “For these kids to make it back to the finals two years in a row, I’m not going to hang my head for a second. I’ve got the utmost respect for Michelle Smith and what she’s done for that team. “It’s weird. I’ve been in coaching for 10 years and I’m looking up to coaches I’ve looked up to my whole career; how they handle motherhood; how they balance the team. Michelle’s one of the best.” Fitzgerald led the Mavs with 13 kills and three aces. Tiffee had eight kills, and Vega had six. Hannah Hogue had 31 assists and five blocks....

11/3/2019

Fort Smith Northside High School News

Northside’s slim postseason hopes were effectively dashed Friday night at Mayo-Thompson Stadium. After allowing an early touchdown to the Grizzlies, Cabot scored three consecutive first-half TDs as the Panthers built a 21-7 lead. They went on to defeat the Grizzlies, 40-7, on Northside’s Senior Night. With the loss, Northside (2-7, 0-6 7A-Central) was officially eliminated from the playoff race and will miss the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Grizzlies will wrap up the season next Friday at city rival Southside. As has been the case each of the past several weeks, the Grizzlies started out strong. On the second play of the game, Northside safety Montay Parks intercepted a pass beyond midfield and returned it to the Cabot 32. It was Parks’ seventh pick of the season. The Grizzlies quickly marched down the field following Parks’ pick. On a third-and-long, senior quarterback Matt Hollenbeck hooked up with senior receiver Preston Baugh for a 24-yard gain to the Panther 11. Three plays later, facing another third down, this time at the 4, quarterback Drey Norwood entered the game and faked a handoff. He took a couple of steps before executing a jump pass, which went right to a wide open Jackson King in the end zone. Slate Stanton tacked on the PAT and Northside was up 7-0 nearly four minutes into the game. But Cabot answered on the next series, needing just five plays, including a 65-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Gee to De’kairo Rudolph down to the Grizzly 2. Gee finished off the drive with a 1-yard TD keeper, and Rhett Thurman’s PAT tied it at 7-all. Cabot quickly got the ball back into Northside territory on a fumbled snap from the Grizzlies. But Northside held on downs, with linebacker J.J. Mills providing blanket coverage on a fourth-down incomplete pass. However, after the opening drive, the Grizzlies were unable to move the ball the rest of the first half. They punted on each of their last five first-half possessions. Cabot (6-3, 3-3) broke the tie early in the second quarter on a 4-yard TD keeper from Gee. Then, with 3:20 left in the first half, Gee finished off an 11-play drive with a 9-yard TD strike to receiver Kyler Carmack, as the Panthers built a 21-7 lead. Cabot then continued to extend that lead in the third quarter, scoring 10 points after recovering a pair of Northside fumbles. The Panthers added a field goal late in the third and had a touchdown in the fourth. Panther running back Graham Turner finished the night with 140 yards on 21 carries. Gee passed for 144 yards on 8-of-18 attempts. Cabot’s defense held Northside to 104 yards of total offense. Baugh caught three passes for 33 yards, and King had three receptions for 11 yards. Hollenbeck completed 5-of-9 passes for 45 yards....

11/2/2019

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