Leader Blues

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

SPORTS >>Jackets are healthy for Beebe game

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

Last year, Wynne handed Beebe its first conference loss of the season in the previous AAAA-East league. This year heading into Friday’s game, both teams are once again undefeated through the first two weeks of 5A-East action.

The Yellowjackets find themselves as the favorites once again this year, despite being the visitors at rowdy Bro Erwin Field. Wynne coach Don Campbell says that even with longtime rival Batesville looming for his squad next week, their only focus right now is on getting by the Badgers.

“Focusing on this week is not a problem for us,” Campbell said. “We have taken it one week at a time since the start of the season, and there’s no reason to quit that approach now.” The Yellowjackets have looked strong the last three weeks after starting their season off with a brutal non conference schedule and a beat up team.

The season opened with losses to powerhouses Marion and Jonesboro, with a win over Forrest City completing their non-league games. Campbell says the tough games early gave his team a good feel for how things would be once conference play started. “We knew what kind of team we had when we went up against them,” Campbell said. “We played some pretty good football teams right off the bat, and played them pretty well.”

Campbell also noted that after having several players banged up with injuries in the early going, including workhorse running back Terrence Boykin, they have all reported back healthy, giving the team added depth halfway through the season when many squads begin to lose depth.

“We’re in better shape now than we’ve been all year,” Campbell said. “It seems like we were crippled up from the git-go, but we’ve got them all back now, they should be ready to go. “Boykin missed a game; our linebacker Byron, he was out for a while. We’ve got both of them back now. Johnson had a concussion two weeks ago, but he should be back.”

Beebe picked right back up where they left off last year, finding ways to pull out wins in the fourth quarter after trailing much of the game. Despite some internal quarrels, the squad has pulled together as a team and mounted its seemingly trademarked comebacks in all four wins this season.

The Badgers have had an opportunity to display some of their younger talent in the first half of the season. With a stout opponent such as Wynne, it will be interesting to see if head coach Cam Prock and the Beebe coaching staff choose experience over promise, or roll the dice with what has seemed to work fairly well during the first five games.
The Yellowjackets will visit Bro Erwin Field this Friday for the 5A-East showdown, with opening kickoff a 7:30 p.m.