City of Springdale's Recent Wave of Outstanding Football Exploits Has Deep Roots

by Rob Keys  on Monday, Jul. 12, 2010 12:00 am  

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The city of Springdale might collect football championships like other teams collect bruises. Shiloh Christian Coach Josh Floyd said it’s not what fans see on fall Friday nights that separates this pigskin-crazed community.

“Between Springdale High, Springdale Har-Ber and Shiloh, if you come here in the summer, it doesn’t matter if it’s 7 in the morning or 7 at night,” Floyd said, “somebody’s playing football.

“It’s pretty impressive.”

Floyd should know. He attended “every Springdale Bulldog game there was” as a boy in the 1980s, starred as a quarterback at Shiloh Christian in the 1990s, and has won three state championships in the last four seasons as the Saints’ head coach.

Floyd’s path also crossed that of Chris Wood, who guided Springdale Har-Ber to its first state championship last season. Wood was an assistant at Shiloh Christian during Floyd’s playing days, and that was no accident.

Wood set his sights on coaching in Springdale while he was a student at Arkansas Tech because it was so evident how serious and committed the community was when it came to football.

“They have a vision and an understanding of what it takes to be successful,” Wood said.

The Williams Way

Though the Springdale High Bulldogs won state championships in 1925 and 1944, Jarrell Williams generally is credited with weaving football into the fabric of the community during his three-plus decades as coach. Springdale won four state championships — in 1968, 1969, 1982 and 1989 — under Williams, and earned a reputation for cranking out physical, hard-nosed teams.

Wood said that style remains the “one core principle” of football in Springdale, regardless of the school.

“That was the standard long before there was a Shiloh Christian or a Har-Ber,” Wood said. “Jarrell Williams taught a tough brand of football, and that’s where everything started.”

“Yeah,” echoed Floyd, “it starts with that guy.”



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