All posts by Henry Apple

Henry Apple is a veteran sports reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His primary beat is Bentonville and Bentonville West, as well as topics that include state schools and the Arkansas Activities Association. During the spring, he handles high school track in Northwest Arkansas. He is a lifelong Arkansas resident.

New 2018-20 Conference Alignments Announced

The Arkansas Activities Association released its conference alignments for all sports but football Tuesday following a meeting of its board of directors.

These conference alignments are a result of Proposal No. 9 being passed July 31. These become effective at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

Class 6A

Central — Bryant, Cabot, Conway, Fort Smith Northside, Fort Smith Southside, Little Rock Catholic/Mount St. Mary, Little Rock Central, North Little Rock

West — Bentonville, Bentonville West, Fayetteville, Rogers, Rogers Heritage, Springdale, Springdale Har-Ber, Van Buren

Class 5A

East — Greene Co. Tech, Jonesboro, Marion, Mountain Home, Nettleton, Paragould, Searcy, West Memphis

Central — Beebe, Jacksonville, Little Rock Hall, Little … Continue Reading ››

NWA Fall Sports Notebook — Week 1

Bentonville High

Bentonville's boys tennis team came away from Arkansas Tech's courts with a little bit more than the inaugural Arkansas Team Tournament trophy last weekend.

The Tigers also came away with a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming weeks as the regular season progresses.

"I think this is going to get us ready for conference play a lot sooner than we normally would," Bentonville coach Nick Nersesian said. "It gave me the flexibility to mix and match with some people, in both doubles and singles, and chart the caliber of athletes we played.

"The kids are improving, and that's all I … Continue Reading ››

2018-20 Classifications Announced

The Arkansas Activities Association has announced the classification breakdown of the state's high schools for all sports except football as a result of Proposal No. 9 being passed during the annual meeting of the governing body July 31 in Little Rock.

This will become effective with the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. The number beside each school's name is its average attendance in grades 9-11 over a three-year span (estimated in some instances, such as newer schools), and private schools must play one classification higher.

Conference assignments for each school will be announced at a later date.

Class 6A 1. … Continue Reading ››

Second Time Around — Bentonville West 2017 Season Preview

Bentonville West's volleyball team may have caught some by surprise when its inaugural season was capped by a trip to the Class 7A state tournament.

While the Lady Wolverines cherished the moment at the time, it just meant the stakes were raised a little higher for the second season.

"Making it into the state tournament in our first year was good for us," West coach Julie Rowan said. "So now, they've been talking about not having that sophomore slump. Last year, Everything positive was positive. Unfortunately, this year the expectation is so much higher.

"We can't use the excuse … Continue Reading ››

Unfinished Business — Bentonville High 2017 Season Preview

The battle cry for Bentonville High's volleyball team this season can be found on the top of the Lady Tigers' schedule.

It simply reads "Unfinished Business," and coach Michelle Smith traces its origin to the end of last season, when Bentonville suffered a second-round loss to North Little Rock in the Class 7A state tournament.

"Our seniors didn't have the season last year that they felt they should have had," Smith said. "We underachieved a lot of times. As a coaching staff, we pulled out all the stops, and we were dumbfounded at the state tournament. We were speechless and … Continue Reading ››

Bentonville West 2017 Season Preview

Bentonville West's boys tennis team started from scratch last summer and came away with its first all-state performer when Hayden Shoemake finished fourth in singles play during the Class 7A state tournament.

The sophomore now becomes the foundation the Wolverines can build upon as they begin their second season.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Hayden Shoemake of Bentonville West earned all-state honors last year — the school's first — and will be the foundation for this year's Wolverine tennis team. NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Hayden Shoemake of Bentonville West earned all-state … Continue Reading ››