Closing out 7-on-7 summer tournament play, the Bastrop Rams will play in the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Showcase Friday and Saturday in Springdale, Ark. Schools from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas are represented in the 32-team field.
This marks the third straight year the Rams have competed in the Southwest Elite Showcase.
“It's a great, well-organized event,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. “It gives our guys a chance to spend some time together.”
Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and former Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets' head coach Herm Edwards are among this year's guest speakers. Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Ronnie Lott were among last year's featured speakers.
“The funny thing to me was half of our kids didn't know who Tim Brown and Ronnie Lott were,” Bachman recalled.
Bastrop finished third in its previous two 7-on-7 tournaments this summer at Louisiana College and West Monroe.
In Friday's games, the Rams are paired against Bolivar (Mo.) at 11 a.m. and Olive Branch (Miss.) at 1:30 p.m.
Bolivar is led by quarterback Rafe Peavey. An Arkansas commitment, the 6-4, 205-pound senior-to-be is listed as the No. 4 dual threat quarterback in the nation by rivals.com. Coming off of their 10th straight conference championship, the Liberators were 9-3 last season.
Strong safety Alfred Dickens (6-0, 205), an Ole Miss pledge, spearheads the Olive Branch secondary. A perennial Mississippi power, the Conquistadors return 15 starters from last year's 9-3 squad.
Bastrop and defending Class 1A state champion Ouachita Christian are the only teams from Louisiana in the tournament.
Rounding out the field are Alma (Ark.), Aurora Christian (Ill.), Bentonville (Ark.), Bishop Kelley (Okla.), Bishop McGuinness (Okla.), Bixby (Okla.), Broken Arrow (Okla.), Charleston (Ark.), Derby (Kan.), Desoto Christian (Miss.), East St. Louis (Ill.), El Dorado (Ark.), defending champion Fayetteville (Ark.), Har-Ber (Ark.), Heritage Hall (Okla.), Hoover (Ala.), Little Rock Christian (Ark.), McAlester (Okla.), McPherson (Kan.), Memphis University (Tenn.), Nashville (Ark.), Olathe North (Kan.), Rogers Heritage (Ark.), Sherman (Texas), Shiloh Christian (Ark.), Springdale (Ark.), Stillwater (Okla.) and Victory Christian (Okla.).
REPORT DATE: Monday, Aug. 5 is the first day of mandatory practice for LHSAA member schools.
Monday, Aug. 12 marks the first day of full pads. Bastrop will scrimmage Ruston on Friday, Aug. 16 at Ouachita.
SONNY NASON was approved as the new head football coach at Crossett High by the Crossett School Board on Monday night. Nason was recommended for the position by former Bastrop High coach Brad Bradshaw, who is now the Eagles' athletic director.
Crossett was 4-7 last season.
A Bastrop High alumnus, Nason held several positions during three coaching stints at his alma mater, including head baseball coach. Last season, he was the Rams' wide receivers coach.
Nason was head football coach at Lake Providence from 2008-11, where directed the Panthers to a 17-23 record and two playoff appearances. In 2001, Nason guided the Panthers to the District 2-2A championship, the school's first conference title since 1981. He also helped the Panthers end a 24-year playoff drought in 2008.
In addition to his time at Bastrop, Nason was offensive coordinator at Delta for two years (2004-05).