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Smackover ready for challenge of new league

by Jason Avery | January 15, 2022 at 12:00 a.m.

When the Arkansas Activities Association announced the new football conferences for the upcoming cycle, schools across the state had to scramble quickly to reshape their non-conference schedules.

For Smackover coach David Osborn, the new look of the 5-3A allowed him some extra opportunities.

The Bucks will have three home games in the first four weeks, hosting Mayflower in their opener on August 26. Smackover then hosts Genoa Central before heading to Mineral Springs and returning home to host Hampton to finish their non-conference slate.

“Typically you get the schedule done during the season so the hold up made it a challenge,” Osborn said. “On the day the conferences were released, several teams filled up that day, so it made it a situation where you would have to think outside the box a little bit on scheduling.

“We were looking for games pretty much anywhere in the state or in a neighboring state. We felt this would be possible since our conference travel will be so much less this next cycle. It just happened to work out that we had made a few connections at some schools and they happened to be needing games. The last game we picked up was the Genoa game.”

Osborn said he is pleased with how everything worked out.

“I feel pretty good about the schedule we were able to put together,” Osborn said. “We are going to start with two 4A teams that we have a little history with. It will give us a good look to see where we stand early on in the season, and it will be against two different types of offensive systems.

“Losing some of our local non-conference games made it a little bit harder to fill the schedule this year, but it will make travel for us much better in conference.”

With the offseason well underway, Osborn said the Bucks are working diligently in the weight room.

“Right now in the offseason, we are in our strength phase,” Osborn said. “Our multiple sport guys have been lifting with us three days a week and going to their spring sport the other two during the class period while practicing their spring sport after school as well.

“For our offseason track guys, it's been three days a week with two additional days of lifting and conditioning. For the most part it's been going well, just having to try to get some consistency going. It's been a little crazy after Christmas break with kids out for different reasons.

“We will stay in our strength phase through February trying to put on some size and strength then shift to a little more football as we get closer to spring practice. My goal is to get us to the point where we can start going to some powerlifting meets and competing. 

“Some coaches are starting to attend clinics in February while others are starting the breakdowns of teams for next year. We will take this time to go back and look at areas we need to focus on and get our plans for the spring and summer ready.”


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