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.

Arkansas Track Contingent Bound For Albuquerque

Arkansas will send its largest group of high school track and field athletes west this week to compete in the 40th annual Great Southwest Track and Field Classic.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/Michael Woods --05/07/2015--w@NWAMICHAELW... Cabot pole vaulter Tori Weeks clears the bar during the girls pole vault Thursday at the 7A State Championship track and field meet in Fayetteville.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/Michael Woods --05/07/2015--w@NWAMICHAELW... Cabot pole vaulter Tori Weeks clears the bar during the girls pole vault Thursday at the 7A State Championship track and field meet in Fayetteville.
A total of 15 will … Continue Reading ››

Looking ahead (Part 3): The 2016-18 reclassification cycle

NOTE: The following is the third part of a series focusing on the 2016-18 reclassification cycle and how it will affect schools throughout the state. This will address Class 3A and 4A football. If there was ever a group that needed an entire overhaul as far as its conference structure goes, it's those schools who play Class 3A football. Simply put, there are too many schools having to make lengthy trips that could be avoided with a different alignment. Cedarville coach Kevin Lea said his team left on a charter bus at 11:30 a.m. and reached Mountain View at 5 p.m., with a … Continue Reading ››

Looking Ahead (Part 2) — The 2016-18 Reclassification Cycle

NOTE: The following is the second part in a series concerning the next reclassification cycle and how it could affect schools. This one focuses on those in Class 5A and 6A schools. Will it be East/West or North/South? It's probably the biggest question for those involved with the 16 Class 6A football teams in the 2016-18 reclassification cycle.  As mentioned in the first part of this series, the Class 6A teams will not be in mixed conferences with the Class 7A for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Now comes time to figure out how they will be split into their respective … Continue Reading ››

Looking ahead (Part 1): The 2016-18 Reclassification Cycle

Another year of high school sports is officially in the books, and there is still three more months before the next one begins. Still, it didn't take long for some people to look beyond next season, especially when the Arkansas Activities Association released the classification numbers for the 2016-18 cycle on April 30. These numbers — consisting of a school's average number of students in grades 9-11 over a three-year span — determine a school's classification for those two school years. The next cycle marks the beginning of Bentonville West and a consolidated Jacksonville-North Pulaski high school, marking some of the noticeable … Continue Reading ››

Lady Tigers Relay Team Breaks State Record

Another team member, another record-breaking result for Bentonville's girls 4x800 relay team. The Lady Tigers claimed the overall state record in that event Saturday night during the Meet of Champs at Cyclone Stadium in Russellville. The Lady Tigers' team of Sophie Quandt, Merrill Leak, Trinity Walker and Katy Kotoucek turned in a time of 9 minutes, 31.91 seconds and surpassed the previous mark of 9:36.98 set by Bentonville in 2008. The time was also more than 5 seconds faster than what the Bentonville team had run to set the Class 7A state meet record just nine days earlier in Fayetteville, and nobody … Continue Reading ››

Bentonville vaults into MaxPreps Cup standings lead

Bentonville has made its move toward becoming the first school to win the MaxPreps Cup — which is awarded to the nation's best high school athletic program — for a second consecutive year. Bentonville-TigersBentonville, which was in a tie for second place through the fall sports season, now has 818 points after the winter sports have been tabulated. Carmel, Ind., the school that was tied with Bentonville, is in second place with 764 points, just six points ahead of fall sports leader Cardinal Gibbons of Raleigh, N.C. Rounding out the top 10 schools … Continue Reading ››

Tigers add out-of-state foes to 2015 schedule

Bentonville's football team will take the field against a pair of new out-of-state opponents during the 2015 season under first-year head coach Jody Grant. The two-time defending Class 7A state champions will take on Valor Christian Bentonville-Tigersof Highland Ranch, Colo., in a Sept. 11 game at Tiger Stadium, then will host James Rickards of Tallahassee, Fla., the following week. Both games will have 7 p.m. kickoffs. Valor Christian takes the place of Broken Arrow, Okla., which elected to break its contract with Bentonville in order to play a game against a Texas high … Continue Reading ››

Bentonville Spring Football: Five Things To Watch

Eight weeks after he was given a promotion to head coach, Jody Grant will lead Bentonville's football team to the Tigers' first spring practice Monday afternoon. 12/6/14 Arkansas Demorcrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON Bentonville's QB Kasey Ford scrambles for yardage in the second half during the  Class 7A state championship football game Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. 12/6/14
Arkansas Demorcrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON
Bentonville's QB Kasey Ford scrambles for yardage in the second half during the Class 7A state championship football game Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little … Continue Reading ››

New reclassification numbers causes changes in schools

The Arkansas Activities Association released the numbers for the 2016-18 reclassification cycle Thursday. Here are some of changes that will take place, beginning in the fall of 2016. Class 7A — The emergence of Bentonville West causes West Memphis to drop to Class 6A. Because of the Bentonville split, Springdale High will now be the state's largest school in attendance, with a three-year average of 2440.33 students in grades 9-11. Class 6A — The new schools are West Memphis and Jacksonville, which will consolidate with Class 5A North Pulaski. Alma and Little Rock Parkview will drop out. Class 5A — Alma is back in … Continue Reading ››