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.
• Bentonville will play teams from three different states in nonconference. The Tigers will take on Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst, Broken Arrow, Okla., and a Catholic team from New Jersey. The defending 7A state champs have indeed set up a challenging schedule.
• Rogers Heritage takes the longest road trip of the nonconference slate when the War Eagles travel deep in the heart of Texas to take on Texas smaller school power Navasota. The War Eagles will also take on a Kansas school in nonconference.
• Shiloh Christian plays the three-state game as well, taking on Charleston in the opener, then has games with a team from Florida and another from Oklahoma. The Saints will tangle with the defending 3A state champion Tigers and 4-star QB Ty Storey at historic Mayo-Thompson Stadium in Fort Smith as part of the Hooten’s Kickoff Classic on Sept. 4.
• Lincoln will play the first football game of the season for NWA teams when the Wolves battle Hot Springs Lakeside at 5 p.m. on Sept. 1 at Razorback Stadium. Then the Wolves are off for 11 days before they play again on Sept. 12.
• Springdale Har-Ber opens the season with back-to-back road trips to Missouri, taking on Webb City in the opener, then a week 2 battle with Rockhurst.
• Even though Prairie Grove and Farmington are no longer conference rivals doesn’t meet the Battle of Highway 62 will end. Quite the contrary. The Tigers will host the Cardinals in the season opener, which should as usual be another dandy.
Yep, the first days of summer are not even here yet and already we are eagerly looking ahead to the fall.