So, your football team is picked to win the conference in the pre-season polls and ranked No. 2 in Class 7A before a single snap. And it’s a year after folks were wondering if you could win more than two or three games.
That’s what happens when you exceed expectations so spectacularly. With nearly an entirely new coaching staff implementing different ideas in 2016, the Bryant Hornets went on a tear and wound up reaching the semifinals in the playoffs for the first time in the history of the program.
And, sure enough, in the annual Hooten’s Arkansas Football publication, the coaches of the 7A-Central Conference voted the Hornets as pre-season favorites and they’re ranked No. 2 in Class 7A behind the Springdale Har-Ber Wildcats, the very team they defeated to reach the semifinals in 2016.
“We’re still not where we want to be by any means,” stated Bryant head coach Buck James following his team’s first practice of the Fall on Monday. “We’re highly ranked in a lot of the polls and stuff and that’s good. But I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s all just.
“I think there’s a big separation between where we were last year and where North Little Rock was, and if we’ve closed that gap or not, time will tell,” he continued. “And there was a big gap between us and Fayetteville. A big gap between us and (Fort Smith) Northside. Our goal this summer was to close that gap. Time will tell whether we have or not.
“All the prognosticators have deemed that we maybe have, but we’ve still got to go out on the field — that’s what I told our team last week, all this stuff is paper. The games are going to have to be played and, at the end…
click here to read more.