The Hooten’s Kickoff Classic starts on Monday with two highly touted teams set to battle in Fayetteville.
The Warren Lumberjacks, the pick to win the 4A state title by Hooten’s Arkansas Football magazine, will travel north to take on the Fayetteville Bulldogs, the two-time defending 7A state champions, inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
With Warren being in the smaller conference, head coach Bo Hembree says his boys are looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s just like any other game. It’s a nonconference game and we just have a chance to get better,” Hembree said. “We have a chance to take on the two-time defending 7A champions.
“It’s a tough challenge for us but at the same time it’s going to be a tough challenge being the first game.”
With this being the first game of the season, there is an expectation of nerves, but Hembree is just looking for improvement from his team.
“I think there are some nerves and that’s always going to come with the first game,” he said. “We just want to improve as a team. It’s just a process to improve before conference time. We just need to improve.”
Both teams have very skilled athletes and can score quickly. When asked how he plans on using his skill players against a bigger lineup, Hembree said he wants to keep it simple.
“We just want to get our athletes in space,” he said. “We want to try and create some one-on-one matchups. They have three or four guys who signed with (the University of) Arkansas in the past.
“We just need to worry about what we do and not what they do.”