All posts by Chip Souza

Chip Souza is the sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His primary beat is Benton County schools. He is a native of East Texas with more than 30 years of sports writing experience in Texas and Arkansas. He has earned numerous writing awards in both states.

4 Downs With Shiloh Christian RB Chandler Smith

AN FBH-SHILOH PREVIEW I caught up with Shiloh Christian rising senior Chandler Smith (OK, he was sitting down), on Friday at the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Showcase.

Shiloh 7-on-7

Smith has played on the Saints' varsity for four seasons. Last season he was injured late and missed Shiloh Christian's playoff game and was held out of spring contact drills.  He has since been cleared and has participated in all the Saints' team camps and 7-on-7s this summer.

First Down: How is your shoulder?

It's doing good. It's completely healed. It was separated and I tore my … Continue Reading ››

WATN: Former Foes Teamed Up At UA

By Paul Boyd NWA Media Allyson Twiggs Dyer and Blair Savage-Lansden were tied together because of basketball for several years, but they have taken different paths later in life. The two were bitter rivals in high school, but became teammates at Arkansas.
Allyson Twiggs-Dyer
Twiggs Dyer put her basketball career behind her quickly after Arkansas lost to Washington in the NCAA Tournament in 1995. “I left my shoes in the hotel room in Seattle,” she said. “I was done. I had played a ton of basketball, and it was a great … Continue Reading ››

WATN: McNair Recalls Wild Playoff Game

Michael Woods Former Shiloh Christian standout Cole McNair is back in Fayetteville and working as a producer for his family's insurance company.
FAYETTEVILLE — The scoreboard at Junction City went dark just before the start of the 1999 playoff game against Shiloh Christian. Probably a good thing it did. It couldn’t have kept up with the blur of scoring changes that occurred seemingly every few seconds during the game. Shiloh Christian’s 70-64 win that night is regarded by many as the greatest high school football game ever played in … Continue Reading ››

WATN: Springdale Baseball’s Improbable Title Run

Courtesy Photo Springdale Bulldogs 1998 state championship team
BY RICK FIRES NWA MEDIA SPRINGDALE — There was a time when Springdale High’s baseball team was the best in the state. Although the program has seen hard times the past few years, and is currently without a coach, that wasn’t always the case. In 1992, Springdale reached the state finals before losing 6-3 to a Pine Bluff team that featured a junior center fielder who hit a home run in the game. His name is Torii Hunter, who is in his 16th year in … Continue Reading ››

Shiloh Opening Drew Plenty Of Interest

Jeff ConawayBen Mayes, the president of Shiloh Christian School, said Tuesday that more than 40 coaches from more than 20 states applied for the head football coaching position. Mayes said after an exhaustive search, the list of candidates was whittled down to 8, then down to three finalists, then finally one as Jeff Conaway was formally introduced as the Saints' new coach. At Tuesday night's introduction at the school, Mayes stressed repeatedly that Conaway, who was a former offensive coordinator at Shiloh for 4 seasons under former coach Josh Floyd, was "the right  … Continue Reading ››

Conaway Named New Shiloh Christian Coach

Jeff Conaway, a former offensive coordinator at Shiloh Christian, was named the Saints' head coach on Tuesday.
Jeff Conaway, a former offensive coordinator at Shiloh Christian, was named Tuesday as the Saints’ new head football coach. Conaway replaces former coach Josh Floyd, who was hired two weeks ago as the new football coach at Hewitt-Trussville, Ala. Conaway has been the head coach at Greene County Tech in Northeast Arkansas, where he compiled a 26-37 record, including 2-8 last season. The Eagles earned two playoff appearances in Conaway’s six seasons. “After an exhaustive … Continue Reading ››


AN FBH-WEBB-HARB 09-07 The 2013-14 school year hasn't even ended for some students (how are those snow days looking now, right?) and already we are looking ahead to when school and prep football returns.

The start of a new scheduling cycle is always interesting because teams are playing different opponents, especially in nonconference. These games are, for the most part, two-year agreements.

It's interesting the number of teams playing out-of-state opponents in nonconference games this coming season.

For instance:

• Bentonville will play teams from three different states in nonconference. The Tigers will take on Kansas … Continue Reading ››


AN BBH-HARB ROGERSSpringdale Har-Ber junior left-handed pitcher Weston Rogers was named the All-NWA Media Newcomer of the Year for Class 7A/6A schools. Rogers missed last season with an elbow injury, but returned this season to help the Wildcats advance to the 7A state tournament. He has verbally committed to Arkansas. The complete list of All-NWA Media baseball selections are in Sunday's print editions or online at