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The numbers speak volumes for the Southside Mavericks’ football team. Defensively, the Mavs have kept their team in all three conference games. Offensively, it has been a mixture of misses, near-misses and blown assignments. Southside missed a couple of potential scoring chances in last week’s 28-14 loss to North Little Rock. The Charging Wildcats flipped the game, and momentum, with a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown. “I thought we executed better than the Cabot game,” Southside quarterback coach Justin Key said. “The fumble return was huge because it swung all the momentum back to North Little Rock.” Quarterback Parker Wehunt has had his moments. He threw a dime to Jay Washington in last week’s game that went for naught. He’s also missed some plays, too. “We knew coming in to North Little Rock that we would be getting a lot of man coverage, and we did a decent job scheming and making some plays against some of it,” Key said. ”(But) I thought we were two or three plays away from scoring 21 or even 28 (points).” Wehunt is 61-for-123 (49.59 percent) for 713 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s been intercepted just four times. Jake Tyler leads the team with 23 receptions for 271 yards. The Mavericks’ Jackson Morawski caught two passes for 40 yards, his first two career receptions. He’s among nine different players who’s caught at least one pass this season. “Jackson Morawski is one of our more improved players from last year,” Key said. “He has continued to improve each week. He had two big catches and he will continue to get on the field in our spread packages” Southside II The Mavericks’ defense had one bad play in last week’s loss to North Little Rock — a run around right end that went for an 80-yard touchdown. Aside from that run, however, the Mavericks held the Charging Wildcats to just 203 yards, including just 34 yards through the air on 5-of-11 passing. Dakota Wareham had 11 tackles and recovered one of three fumbles in the Mavericks’ loss. Shawn Rogers, Leighton Johnson and Jeremiah Van Hook recorded quarterback sacks for the Mavericks. Southside’s mostly youthful defense has 11 quarterback sacks in six games. They had just six in a dozen games in 2018....

10/16/2019

Southside 3, MSM 1 The Southside Mavericks clinched the outright 6A-Central championship Tuesday with a 25-13, 14-25, 25-12, 25-22 win over Mount St. Mary. Avery Fitzgerald and Toree Tiffee had 13 kills apiece for the Mavericks (26-5, 11-1). Kelsey Hamilton had 17 digs and seven aces for the winners. Hannah Hogue added 33 assists, 17 digs and three aces. Aleigha Johnson had seven kills and Bailey Vega added a team-high four blocks....

10/16/2019

For the third straight season, Northside’s Kate Files will have a chance to play for a state tennis championship. Files, the talented top-seeded junior for the Lady Bears, made it to the semifinals for the third straight season as she took care of business in Monday’s 6A state quarterfinals, held at Springdale Har-Ber. She won 6-0, 6-1 against Paige Weston of Bentonville West. “That was her most dominating performance of the year,” Northside coach Martin Hyatt said. “She was mixing up her shots and was also serving by taking away the racket out of her opponent’s hands.” Files will play her 6A semifinal match beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Har-Ber against Bentonville’s Ella Coleman. The winner will then advance to the 6A finals, set for around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday against the winner of the other semifinal between Mount St. Mary’s Presley Southerland and Bentonville West’s Cassie Cervantez. Two years ago, Files took an undefeated record into the 7A state finals before falling. Last season, she reached the 6A semifinals before being defeated, and went on to take third place. Files will be the only representative from either Northside or Southside to play in Tuesday’s 6A semifinals. In an upset on Monday, Southside’s top-ranked girls doubles team of Jordan Cormier and Annie Nelligan were defeated in the quarterfinals by Bentonville’s Olivia Roberts and Shreya Kurichety, with the scores 4-6, 7-6, 6-1. It was the first loss of the season for Cormier and Nelligan, who were coming off their win in the recent 6A-Central conference tournament. “Annie and Jordan had some nerves early but were able to relax and play well in the first set to win it,” Southside coach Braden Eads said. “They got down early in the second, but fought back to even it up and take it to a second set tiebreaker, which they ultimately fell short on. “The third set, they got down early as their opponent continued their momentum, but our girls fought back and didn’t give up, but ultimately fell in the third set.” Another Southside girls doubles team, Ashlyn Roffine and Kate Coleman, were defeated in their opening round match at state, 6-4, 6-1, to Jessica Hood and Ananya Vangoor of Bentonville West. On the boys side, Southside’s doubles team of Reiter Ahlert and Daniel Kiss dropped a 7-5, 6-0 decision in the first round at state to the team of Sankalp Pandey and Kaushik Sivakumar of Bentonville West. Northside’s doubles squad of Griffin Huckelbury and Sam Carlisle picked up a win in their opening-round match, 7-5, 6-2 against a team from Fayetteville in a match that Hyatt described as “a fun win.” But Huckelbury and Carlisle were defeated in the 6A quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-2, to Bentonville’s Emiliano Aguirre. Also for the Grizzlies, Will Thames and Kadin Hyatt competed in boys singles but both were defeated in the first round. Thames dropped a three-set match, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2, to Bentonville’s Vikram Balasekaran, while Hyatt was defeated by Fayetteville’s Jack Mason, 6-0, 6-1....

10/15/2019

North Little Rock was in a giving mood Friday night at Rowland Stadium. But so were the Southside Mavericks. North Little Rock’s Rashad Muhammad scooped up a fumble and raced 50 yards for a touchdown to help seal a 28-14 victory. The Mavericks weren’t without their chances, though. The Charging Wildcats put the ball on the ground three times. Southside had another drive stopped inside the Charging Wildcats’ 10. “I give Southside a lot of credit; they’ve really, really schemed us the last couple of years,” North Little Rock coach Jamie Mitchell said. Down just one score at the half, the Charging Wildcats’ defensive touchdown turned out to be the difference. “They’ve carried us,” Mitchell said of the team’s defense. “We’ve have been a struggle on offense from day one. We just haven’t been consistent. The defensive score to me was the difference in the game — it goes from a one-score game to a two-score game.” “We gave them a defensive touchdown and you just can’t do that in this league,” Southside coach Jeff Williams said. ”(But) I’m proud of our guys. They played extremely hard; they’ve done it all year long. We still have a lot of ball left. It’s little bitty things that are costing us, but they are all correctable.” Southside quarterback Parker Wehunt helped the team cash in on the first of two NLR fumbles by throwing a quick 26-yad touchdown pass to Jay Washington for a 7-0 lead with 9:17 left to play in the first half. Wehunt threw for 86 first-half yards, but was just 2-of-9 for 17 yards and an interception in the final half. Junior Jackson Moraoski helped set up the Mavs’ second score of the night by hauling in a pair of 18-yard receptions, including a fourth down reception on fourth-and-11 that gave the Mavericks a first and goal at the North Little Rock 2. Three plays later, Conner Austin caught a quick slant to cut the Charging Wildcats’ lead to 21-14. NLR drove 74 yards for its first touchdown of the night. The Charging Wildcats converted three times on third-and-short, and took advantage of the Mavericks’ encroachment on third-and-four for another first down. Rice scored the first of his two first half touchdowns with a short 2-yard run at the 4:11 mark of the first quarter. Southside drove to the NLR 41 on its next possession but Washington was stuffed on fourth-and-short. But Mavericks’ linebacker Landen Chaffey got the ball right back on the very next play by recovering a fumble at the Charging Wildcats’ 49. But the Mavericks went three-and-out, and Rice made them pay immediately by dashing 80 yards for a touchdown. He finished with 173 yards rushing on 26 carries. The Charging Wildcats extended the lead to 21-7 on Kareane Cotton’s 1-yard plunge. ...

10/12/2019

Mavericks coach Jeff Williams knew the type of schedule his team would be facing when it signed on as the team’s coach a decade-and-a-half ago. There weren’t many off days in the old 7A-West. And there sure aren’t any freebies to be had in the 7A-Central. The Mavericks (1-4, 0-2) are in need of a conference victory heading into today’s 7 p.m. clash with North Little Rock. But first, the Mavs need to sustain a drive or two. “It’s good to be back home; we’ve been on the road quite a bit,” Williams said. “They’ve (NLR) had a few injuries, and we’re a little banged up, too. Everybody has bumps and busies this time of the year.” The Mavericks’ offense had shown signs of late of late. The team was within a touchdown of Conway later in their league opener. Southside, had in fact, managed at least two touchdowns in each of their first four games. But against Cabot, the Mavericks turned the ball over four times and, every time they started to the ball they were flagged with a penalty. The team’s 12-0 loss marked the first time the Mavericks have been shut out since 2017 (Greenwood), and the first time they’ve been blanked in league play since Oct. 23, 2015 (Har-Ber). “You hold somebody to 12 points, in this league, you expect to win,” Williams said. “I thought our defense played really well. Really, they’ve played well all season.” Quarterback Parker Wehunt threw for 86 yards and completed just 10 of 20 passes while throwing two interceptions. “We just didn’t take care of the football, and penalties hurt us, too,” Williams said. ”(But) we have to continue to play hard; we have to take some shots, too.” NLR quarterbacks Kareame Cotton and Damon Bell split time under center last week. Bell was 8-for-12 for 69 yards before being knocked out. Cotton was 4-for-7 for 35 yards. The Charging Wildcats have played a difficult schedule, but the team has still passed for just one touchdown this season. Three different backs, Fredrick O’Donald, Aaron Sims and Brandon Thomas, have rushed for 200-plus yards, each. O’Donald, who missed last week’s game with Conway, leads the team with three touchdowns. Brandon Thomas, who missed the first three games, is averaging 9.4 yards per carry. He ran for 130 yards in the team’s 35-21 win over Little Rock Central two weeks ago. “They’re going to run the football,” Williams said. ”(But) it’s hard to simulate that (speed) in practice.”...

10/11/2019

With each win they compiled, the pressure grew for Southside’s girls doubles team of Jordan Cormier and Annie Nelligan. They brought a perfect record into this week’s 6A-Central conference tournament in Little Rock and knew they needed to continue their momentum. While it wasn’t easy at times, Cormier and Nelligan were able to deliver a conference title for the Mavs. Cormier, a senior, and Nelligan, a junior, kept their undefeated record alive by holding off Cabot’s team of Emily Belin and Maggie Gibson, 7-6, 6-4, to win the 6A-Central championship. “They came in as the top seed, and so the pressure was all on them and I thought they handled it well,” Southside coach Braden Eads said. Cormier, who qualified for state last season in singles, and Nelligan also get the conference’s top seed for the 6A State Tournament, which begins Monday at Springdale Har-Ber High School. The duo easily won their opening match at conference, 6-0, 6-0, then got a 7-6, 6-3 decision to advance to the semifinals. Against a team from Mount St. Mary, Cormier and Nelligan survived a tough three-set semifinal match, winning 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 to make it into the finals. “They had a battle in the semifinals and were down 5-2 in the third set and fought back to win,” Eads said. “They went on to the finals and had a back-and-forth match and closed it out to become the doubles conference champions.” Northside junior girls singles player Kate Files was vying for her third straight conference championship. But Files was defeated in the 6A-Central girls singles final by Mount St. Mary’s Presley Southerland, 6-1, 6-4. ?(Files) was down 5-2 in the second set and got it back to 5-4 deuce and ended up losing on a very controversial call on the baseline which made it 4-6,” Northside coach Martin Hyatt said. “I would have hoped for Kate to win conference three years in a row, but it wasn’t meant to be.” Southerland had previously defeated Files in the regular season, and is the only player to defeat the Lady Bear standout all season. Files started tournament play with consecutive 6-0, 6-0 wins to reach the semifinals, where she squared off against another solid player in Little Rock Central’s Eleanor Burks. Files took the first set 6-2, then rallied from a big deficit in the second to take that set, 7-5, reaching the finals. “She was down 3-5 in the second set, and this was where her will to win took over, she just had more mental intensity than her opponent and came back and won five straight games and won it, 7-5,” Hyatt said. Northside had four members of its boys team qualify for state next week. Two of the Grizzlies’ singles players, Will Thames and Kadin Hyatt, squared off against one another for fifth place, with Thames taking a 6-2, 6-4 win. Thames, a senior, has qualified for state all four seasons with the Grizzlies. Hyatt qualified for state with a 6-4, 6-2 win in the consolation round against Southside freshman Robinson Wright. The Grizzlies’ doubles team of Griffin Huckelbury and Sam Carlisle posted a big upset to claim third place, beating Little Rock Catholic’s top-seeded doubles squad, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Northside coach Martin Hyatt said that Catholic’s team had posted an 8-2 win in the regular season against Huckelbury and Carlisle. “That was a good time for them to play their best match of the year,” Hyatt said. Another Southside girls doubles team qualified for state, as the team of Ashlyn Roffine and Kate Coleman did just that. They beat a team from Cabot, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, to claim fifth place. “They fought hard all weekend and three/fourths of their matches went the distance to three sets, which they won two-thirds of them,” Eads said. See if this may be a treatment option for you Ad by Bristol-Myers Squibb See More Roffine and Coleman qualified for state with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 win in the consolation round. After not sending any of its boys to state last season, Southside will have two going to state, the boys doubles team of Reiter Ahlert and Daniel Kiss. Ahlert and Kiss qualified for state with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win in the consolation round against Northside’s team of Trey Rajsombath and Kevin Praphan before falling to a team from Catholic in the fifth-place match, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. “I thought they fought hard, but just ran out of steam at the end,” Eads said. “Reiter is a senior and missed out on state last year, so I’m excited for him this year.” Little Rock Central claimed the boys team championship while Mount St. Mary was the girls team district winner....

10/9/2019

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