Every so often, I trek to North Little Rock to the offices of the Arkansas Activities Association, where I take a laptop and scanner to find nuggets of Arkansas’ high school sports past.
Over the last couple of years, I have started the process of finding old state tournament programs. Though I have emailed copies to fellow sports writers, a few school adminstrators and high school sports junkies, I never really considered posting them for all eyes to see (or download).
That is, until NWA Democrat-Gazette Sports Editor Chip Souza suggested to post them on the ARPreps blog.
I won’t post them all on one link, but instead break them down to every few years. Until the 1980s, all of the programs you will find in these upcoming posts came from the AAA archives. By the time we get to the 1980s, some will be from the AAA, some will be from Leland Barclay and some from myself that I have kept over the years,
This first set of programs starts with the end of the 1940s, 1947 through 1949. I will stop after the 1991-92 school year. That was the last year of the Overall Tournament as the next season the AAA would host all state championship games at one site (now currently held in Hot Springs).
The modern AAA started in the 1946-47 school year when J.M. “Johnie” Burnett became the first full-time administrator. Since there were no pre-1947 basketball files, I will presume that Burnett began the process of archiving the official scorebooks, sumbitted rosters, brackets, all-tournament ballots, programs, etc.
Not every tournament program was found in the files, but all I could find will be in upcoming blogs.
One interesting note – There is a Texas girls championship program in the files Burnett kept. Apparently, he had a friend who was a basketball official that though he might like a program from Texas.