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Bulldogs’ 2014 Football Schedule Now Official

By Richard White

Last week’s ruling by a Pulaski County judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Bryant School District has finalized the conference alignments for 7A and 6A. As a result, Alma and Greenwood will be officially reunited in the same league for the next two school years, and probably for much longer, renewing a long-standing rivalry between the two schools.

Greenwood and Alma join Siloam Springs and Russellville as Class 6A schools in the new 7A/6A-Central, with 7A schools Van Buren, Conway, Bryant, and Little Rock Catholic and Mount Saint Mary’s Academy. The Airedales are moving up to 6A for the first time, though Alma has actually surpassed Greenwood in student enrollment, making GHS the smallest 6A school in the state.

Also, only conference games involving other 6A schools will impact the postseason for Greenwood and Alma in football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball. Only the top three teams out of four will earn postseason berths based on the resurrected head-to-head tie-breaking procedure, with 13 points maximum for football and 10 points maximum for basketball.

Conference schedules have also been set for football, and GHS fans should be pleased, at least with the league schedule. The Bulldogs will host Alma in the regular-season finale for football on November 7th, reviving a long-standing tradition between the two rival schools.

As for the Airedales, Alma will host Van Buren the week before on October 31st, meaning the Airedales will play their two biggest rivals in consecutive weeks to end the season. Advantage Greenwood, or so it would seem.

The rest of the 2014 football schedule follows. The Bulldogs will travel to Fayetteville on August 25th for a pre-season scrimmage before opening the regular season on the road at Springdale High School on September 5th. The GHS home schedule opens with a bang against the Rebels of Fort Smith Southside on the 12th, followed by their second road game at Fort Smith Northside the following week.

The Bulldogs will play yet another road game at Van Buren in the conference opener on September 26th, meaning that Greenwood will play three of its first four regular season games on the road, all against Class 7A competition. That’s about as brutal an opening schedule as any 6A team in the state, and yet the Bulldogs will likely be favored in most of those games, if not all.

The rest of the league schedule unfolds with back-to-back home games against Russellville and Conway on October 3rd and 10th, road games at Bryant (17th) and Siloam Springs (24th), before closing out the regular season slate at home against Little Rock Catholic (31st) and Alma on the first Friday night in November.

The Junior Bulldogs, coming off their first River Valley Conference championship since 2009, will scrimmage at Bentonville on August 26th, and then play their first regular season contest on September 4th against Alma, considered a non-conference game. In addition to their normal River Valley Conference schedule, they will also play Shiloh Christian in non-conference play, along with Dover, Arkansas and McAlester, Oklahoma.

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