Arkansas Class 6A high school football team previews: Greenwood hopes to stay healthy and return to state title game

SBLive previews Arkansas high school football teams from the top three classifications. Today we feature the Greenwood Bulldogs of the 6A West Conference.

By Kyle Sutherland | Photo by Jimmy Jones

GREENWOOD BULLDOGS

THE HEAD COACH

Chris Young, third season, 23-4

2021 IN BRIEF

General assessment: 9-4

Conference report: 5-2, T-Second in 6A West

Playoffs: Def. Mountain Home 42-0; Def. Parkview 45-35; Lost to El Dorado in a 6A State Championship game

KEY DEPARTURES

DL Tyler Crossno

LB Parker Gillall states

LB Lui Honkala

LB Colt Owenbyall states

DB Colin Daggett

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Senior QB Hunter Houston – Reclaimed the starting position last season and despite missing time due to injury, threw for 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing 69% of his passes.

Freshman QB Kane Archer – Archer moves on to college as a highly touted rookie after throwing for over 2,000 yards on the college team in 2021.

Senior RB Jake Glover – Glover only played five games due to a season-ending injury, but still managed to rush for 480 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Senior RB Javon Williamson – Despite a broken leg, Williamson was the team’s leading rusher with 676 yards and 8 touchdowns in nine games.

Senior WR Aiden Kennon – Kennon, a 2021 all-state selection, was asked to do a lot given the number of injuries on offense and he answered the call carrying 67 passes for 1,091 yards and 10 touchdowns to earn all-state honors. .

Junior WR LJ Robins – Robins fell in the state championship game with an injury but compiled for 1,212 all-around yards and seven touchdowns.

Shorts Ryan OL Junior – Shortes took on a starting role as a sophomore and helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to rush for over 2,000 yards.

Senior LB Evan Williams – The heart of the defense goes to center linebacker after he was second on the team last season in tackles with 152 along with 10 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.

Junior CB Landon Nelms – Nelms is tied for third on the team with three interceptions in 2021 and brings the most experience outside of the defensive backfield.

Senior SS Storm Scherrey – Scherrey was one of many Bulldogs doomed by a shoulder injury last season, but still had 54 tackles in 7 games.

Braden Skaggs FS junior – Skaggs returns for his second year in the defensive field after intercepting four passes as a sophomore.

OUTLOOK

Greenwood remains in the robust 6A West for the 2022-24 conference realignments and the league will be even tougher with the addition of private school powerhouses Little Rock Christian and Pulaski Academy.

The Bulldogs are one of the best consistent powerhouses in the state and won the program’s tenth state championship, which is tied for fourth all-time for most in state history, in of Young’s first season as head coach in 2020. They will begin immediately against stiff competition as they travel across state lines to Oklahoma to take on Stillwater in the season opener.

Despite being crippled by the injury bug last season, the Bulldogs still returned to what became their second hometown of Little Rock, but fell in the state championship to a hot team of Eldorado.

Greenwood was still mostly impressive in the first half of 2021 given all the adversity he faced going 5-2 and then really rolled winning four of the last six games only falling to conference champion Benton then El Dorado in the title match in that span. .

With virtually everyone returning on offense, and mostly healthy, as well as the back end of defense, the Bulldogs are ready to race for another title.

Houston was one of many to suffer nagging injuries, including being knocked out of the state championship game just before halftime. He’ll be backed by freshman phenom Archer, who, once his career is over, will quite possibly be the most-wanted recruit since Mitch Mustain nearly two decades ago. Archer already has offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Florida State, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

Houston will have a plethora of talented players around it in running backs Jake Glover and Javon Williamson, as well as Kennon and Robins on the outside. The offensive line will be led by returning senior starters Shortes and Webb.

The Bulldog defense has lost a key player along the frontline in Tyler Crossno, along with several linebackers, but with the return of Evan Williams to secure the middle should ease that pain with one of the most talented secondaries in the game. Class 6A which includes Landon Nelms, Storm Scherrey and Braden Skaggs.

COACH SAID

“We have five seniors coming back as starters after some pretty serious injuries who will be major players for us this year. Jake Glover and Javon Williamson were both our top rushers last year before breaking their legs. Evan Williams is our returning starter at center linebacker and Storm Scherrey at safety and both of those guys had shoulder surgery this offseason and are finally healthy. Then you add quarterback Hunter Houston who also had shoulder surgery on his non-pitching shoulder in the offseason and was recently released to start pitching. We were slow with these five guys this summer during camps, and they weren’t happy that I held them. These guys are ready to go and we look forward to them leading our football program this year.

Chris Young

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