Class 4A: Lumberjacks, Scrappers May Square Off At Season's End

by Jim Harris  on Monday, Jul. 16, 2012 12:00 am  

Nashville seeks to return to the top of 4A. (Photo by Rhonda Sharp)

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(Get the predictions for Class 4A football and the games to watch in the digital edtion of's 2012 Football Preview.)

A couple of Arkansas powerhouses of the past decade and change have been missing from the 4A state championship round the past few seasons, but they may be ready to return.

Warren, which won state titles in 2001 and 2002, and Nashville, which won three over 2005-07 in the classification, may be meeting in Little Rock in December for 4A’s title again.

Both teams have been rebuilding the past two years while Shiloh Christian and then Pulaski Academy dominated 4A.

Nashville has welcomed back ultra-successful head coach Billy Dawson. Meanwhile, veteran Warren coach Bo Hembree is welcoming back 19 starters from last year’s 8-win team. Five starters were ninth graders last year.

“We’ve got some growing still to do, we’re still a young team, but we have a really good chance of turning the corner,” Hembree said, adding that it was worth playing the ninth-graders early. “We’d probably be a year away from where we are if we hadn’t moved them up. We’re really excited about where we are.”

Sophomore wideout Darvion Brown “has a chance to be a really special receiver,” says Hembree, who would know something about special receivers, having sent a half-dozen to the SEC. Hembree says his linemen, led by Brent Strickland, are “bigger and faster.” RB Kilay Cox gained more than 1,500 yards rushing, and Junior QB Drake Jones (6-0, 200) has started 15 games and last year topped 2,000 passing. “He’s just growing into the offense every day.” Hembree would still give the 4A nod to Nashville.

“They have a lot of talented players back and they have Coach Dawson back.” Dawson led the Scrappers to a 65-4 mark from 2005-2009 before joining the ministry.



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