MCGEE: State rankings got a little jumbled this week
to push the idea of getting alumni to come to Missouri and help dedicate the school’s first season in their new football field on the south campus. They called the game against arch rival Kansas, a Homecoming game, and the idea was a big success. Record crowds turned out every year for the game, and soon, other colleges and high schools across the country began adopting the tradition.
Coach Brewer did a lot to boost athletics at the University of Missouri, but he left his job to volunteer to serve in the American Expeditionary Force that went to fight in World War 1 in 1917. After the war, he spent some time coaching at other schools until getting the chance to come back to Missouri in 1923 where he became the athletic director and track coach.
In 1929, he pushed for and got built, a fieldhouse that later became known as Brewer Fieldhouse. It was a combination basketball and track facility. It was like a giant garage.
I was a sophomore in high school when I got to experience indoor track for the first time at Brewer. it was the only indoor track in Missouri and it was where we had state meets each March.
Going to the Arkansas state indoor meets in Fayetteville is fun, with the banked mondo track surfaces, and expansive spaces inside the building. In 1969, the only indoor track in Missouri was a dirt floor running 220 yards against three sides of the rather tall building with one “curve” running through a hallway under the stands. When I say curve, I mean where the track changes directions. In reality, the track at Brewer was two long straightaways and two short straightaways.
The year after I graduated in 1971, the fieldhouse was repurposed for student intramural athletics with the university basketball and track teams getting more modern venues. I kind of liked Brewer as it favored runners with short strides as was mine. I ran leadoff for three years, and the lead off runners had to stay in lanes all the way, tough to do for most runners. I always got the lead with my short stride and ability to really lean on the curves.
State rankings get a bit jumbled
The new No. 1 4A state top-ranked team is defending state champion Rivercrest who really isn’t a defending state champion.
Rivercrest won the 3A state crown last season and is now ranked No. 1 in 4A with Warren dropping down into the third slot. Warren didn’t lose but their weaker schedule than the one Rivercrest has given the nod to the school over in Wilson by the Mississippi River.
Shockingly, the defending state champion Arkadelphia team lost again this week, dropping down to the 23rd-ranked stop with a 0-5 record. They are hands down the highest ranked 0-5 team in the state in any class. They also have by far the toughest schedule of anyone in the state.
Coming off their banner year in 2017 with the bulk of their offensive weapons back, the Badgers’ scheduled really tough higher classification teams for their non-conference schedule. They lost all three, two close losses and a blowout to Benton. They then had to open their conference schedule with Nashville (state’s No. 4 team) and then Robinson (state’s No. 2 team) and they lost both games.
Nashville was a close loss (28-23) but they were swamped by Robinson 4214. They now have to face rising Bauxite in a month in a likely fight to get at least a No. 3 seed.
The ’Hawks check in at No. 14 after their victory over Lincoln.
The ’Hawks’ upcoming opponent Friday is Gravette. Gravette has not won a game this year, falling all the way to 46th place in the rankings, in a 48-team classification.
The Lions have some talented athletes though their numbers are down this year. They have a new system in place after their old coach left after a number of successful seasons. They will be getting better though they may have some hard times first.
The ’Hawks have not lost a game at Gravette since the 2010 season. Strangely enough, though they have owned the Gravette field in recent years, last year was the first time in the history of the school that they beat Gravette on their home turf. Win this year, and Pea Ridge will have a school record three game winning streak against the Lions from west county.
MaxPreps/CBS State 4A football poll
10. Rivercrest Robinson Warren Nashville Bauxite Dumas Dardanelle Stuttgart Shiloh West Helena 5-0 4-1 5-0 5-0 5-0 5-0 5-0 3-2 4-1 4-1
34. Westside Gosnell Southside
Pea Ridge Harmony Grove Hamburg Elkins Fountain Lake Prairie Grove Ozark Pottsville Bald Knob Arkadelphia Central Arkansas Ashdown Pocahontas Star City Lincoln Heber Springs DeWitt Lonoke Trumann Mena Highland 4-1 2-3 3-2 3-2 4-1 4-1 5-0 3-2 3-2 3-2 2-3 3-2 0-5 3-2 2-3 2-3 2-3 4-1 1-4 3-2 2-3 2-3 2-3 1-4
48. Crossett Malvern
Cave City Gentry Waldron Riverview
Mills Brookland Subiaco Gravette Monticello Green Forest
Editor’s note: John McGee, an award-winning columnist, sports writer and art teacher at Pea Ridge elementary schools, writes a regular sports column for The Times. He can be contacted through The Times at firstname.lastname@example.org. 0-4 0-5 1-4 1-4 1-4 1-4 1-4 2-3 0-5 0-5 1-4 0-5 0-5 1-4