HARDING ACADEMY: Wildcats threat to repeat as champs in '13

Conference: 2-3A
Coach: Roddy Mote
’12 Record: 14-0 (7-0)


There’s not much more to say than that about the Wildcats’ perfect season in 2012. Harding Academy was the all-around best team in 3A last fall, and they proved it.

But repeating will be no easy task for the Wildcats as they will have to replace two-time all-state quarterback and 2012 501 Football Team honoree Will Francis.

Senior Kohl Blickenstaff is the favorite to take over at quarterback, but sophomore Alex Francis could also see time. Harding Academy has enviable depth in the running back department: Seniors Trevor Smith, Trey Davis and Jake Mackey and juniors Nate Dickson, Garrett Barber and Josh Walker. Seniors Carter Burks and Lane Carger lead an always-talented Wildcat receiving corps.

Seniors Austin Calhoun and Rayel Jackson return as all-conference starters on the offensive line.

Seven starters return to a defense that recorded three shutouts in 2012. Junior Mills Bryant earned all-conference honors last fall at noseguard. Davis also was named all-conference a year ago and led the Wildcats with 101 tackles at linebacker, and Dickson was another 2-3A all-conference selection at linebacker. Mackey and Carger are three-year starters in the secondary.

Sept. 6 at Bauxite
Sept. 13 at Heber Springs
Sept. 20 at Des Arc
Sept. 27 Episcopal
Oct. 4 Rose Bud
Oct. 11 at Bald Knob
Oct. 18 Riverview
Oct. 25 at Mayflower
Nov. 1 Perryville
Nov. 7 at Barton