Izard County's standout basketball players Kennedy Cooper and Taylor Reynolds were selected May 24 to participate in next month's Arkansas Army National Guard High School Coaches Association All Star Basketball Games. Cooper, a 6'2" guard/forward, was a four time All State and All State Tournament Selection and led the Lady Cougars to state tournament appearances each of her three seasons with the Lady Cougars. The Lady Cougars were regional runner-ups this season including a regional semifinal win over the eventual state champion, the Bay Lady Yellowjackets and finished 31-8 on the season. The Lady Cougars were also Izard County champions and district and conference runner-ups. Cooper has signed to play basketball next season with Harding University. Reynolds, a 6'2" guard, led the Cougars to the state tournament Final Four this season and was named All State and All State Tournament. The Cougars reached the state tournament each of his three seasons and were also regional, district, conference, and Izard County champions this year and finished with a 35-10 record.
The Izard County Lady Cougars rallied from a 6-2 second inning deficit with 15 unanswered runs in the next four innings to maul the Bay Lady Yellowjackets, 17-6, in the opening round of the 1A Region 2 Softball Tournament at Armorel on May 5. The Lady Cougars (13-7) were led by Kennedy Cooper who hit a 2 run homer and had 3 RBIs and Natalie Everett with three hits including a double and a triple. Laney Rider scattered eight hits and had six strikeouts in going the distance on the mound for the Lady Cougars. The Lady Cougars advance to play Calico Rock on May 6 in the semifinals at 2:30. The Lady Cougars have clinched a spot in the regional tournament for the 11th consecutive year.
The Izard County Junior Cougars baseball team won the North Central Junior High Conference Tournament championship by edging the Highland Junior Rebels, 2-1, in the finals at Cougar Field in Brockwell on April 25. The Junior Cougars (10-1) and the Junior Rebels (9-2) were the co-champions in the regular season and the Junior Cougars avenged an earlier loss to the Junior Rebels at Ash Flat. Earlier in the day, the Junior Cougars defeated the Melbourne Junior Bearkatz, 4-3, and the Junior Rebels defeated the Cave City Junior Cavemen, 3-0, to reach the finals.
The West boys’ squad used balanced scoring to hold off the East squad, 107-88, in the boys game of the Fifth Annual North Arkansas All Star Basketball Classic held on April 15th at Izard County High School in Brockwell. Preston Gurley of Highland led the winners with 14 points and was named the MVP. Jahcoree Ealy of Guy-Perkins led the East with 24 points and Izard County’s Taylor Reynolds added 19 points for the East. Travis Lewis of Norfork and Tanner brooks of Izard County tallied 13 points each and Tyler Murphy of Sloan-Hendrix added 12 points for the West. Others in double figures included Colby Johnson of Sloan-Hendrix with 11 points and Dallas Farmer with 10 for the West team was coached by Seth Godwin of Mammoth Spring and the East was coached by Josh Bateman of Tuckerman.
In the girls game, the West triumphed 83-47 behind an 11 point effort from MVP Vinessa Daniel from Mountain Home. Kessie Jenkins of Batesville Southside added 10 points. Ashton Ford of Batesville led the East with 11 points The East team was coached by Ronnie Smith of Harrisburg and the West team was coached by Casey Scribner of Mountain View.
The players who participated were chosen from the graduating seniors from schools from across north Arkansas. Sponsors of the event included KSAR, Monty McCurley Insurance, and BSN Sports. Kennedy Cooper of Izard County won the girls individual three point shootout and Randon Carlton of Greers Ferry Westside won the boys’ three point shootout. Ealy won the slam dunk contest.
Others scorers: Girls: (West) Cooper 9, Alli Broadway (Batesville Southside) 9, Karlee Wood (Flippin) 8, Mikayla Irby (Norfork) 8, Allie Hensley (Clinton) 7, Ashlynn Taylor (Valley Springs) 5, Kristen Caraway (Izard County) 5, Kelcy Acklin (Norfork) 3, Natalie Everett (Izard County) 3, Alexa Ramsey (Mammoth Spring) 2, and Keleanna Johnson (Mountain View) 2. (East) Cailey Cossey (Melbourne) 7, Alexis Moore (Highland) 7, Hannah Qualls (Batesville) 5, Carly Otwell (Hillcrest) 4, Natalie Woolsey (Melbourne) 4, Kylie DeVries (Harrisburg) 3, Lindsey Smith (Salem) 2, Daesha Childress (Batesville) 2, and Hayley Cormican (Batesville) 2. Other East participants – Katie Brueckner (Salem), Jordan Webb (Melbourne), Samantha Tacker (Hillcrest), and Madalyn Whitmire (Hillcrest).
Boys: (West) Logan Skaggs (Mammoth Spring) 9, Ben Meigs (Sloan-Hendrix) 8, Maddox Adams (Cotter) 8, Matthew Gorbet (Cotter) 5, Len Powell (Mammoth Spring) 4, Dyllan Nunnally (Hillcrest) 4, Grant Casey (Norfork) 3, and Cameron Thorton (Rose Bud) 3. Also participating for the West – Noah Thompson (Mountain View). (East) Cameron Shaver (Salem) 6, Haston Bullard (Cave City) 6, Mitchell Flint (Pangburn) 6, Blaine Bacon (Cave City) 4, Gage Hewitt (Greers Ferry Westside) 4, Tyler Simino (Izard County) 3, and Baylee Mills (Mammoth Spring) 3. Other participants from the East – Mitchell Lamar (Salem), Rustin Woolridge (Cave City), and Austin Butler (Mountain View).
Izard County High School won seven awards at Academic Day at Lyon College recently. The winners included Lenise Byrd (2nd - Biology, 3rd - Algebra II), Ashlynn Billingsley (2nd - Life Science), Callie Cole (3rd – Chemistry, 2nd – Algebra II), Benji Norton (1st – Algebra II, 2nd - Physics). There were over 170 students competing in the contest. Charles Treat, Rachel Faulkner , and Tammy Roberts are the school sponsors.
Izard County High School placed nine entries in the top three in five categories of the Regional History Day Contest held recently at Jonesboro. Twenty-five Izard County students have qualified for the state contest to be held at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway on April 15. Winners include the following: Individual Exhibit - 1st – “Women Wrestlers” - Colten Hypes, 3rd – “Rosa Parks - Anjilyna Brashear; Group Website – 1st – “Muhammad Ali” - Brennan Worsham, Seth McCurley, Andy Norton, Zach Williams, and Rory Bell, 2nd – (tie) “Video Game Crash” - Ethan Shelton, Preston Grant, Shawn Burgelball, and Ethan Mohlke, 2nd – (tie) “D-Day” - Nathaniel Brown, Dillon Brown, Zeb Felton, Eli Johnson, and Dylan Simino; Individual Website – 1st – “Germany Atlantic Wall” - Zach Nohr; Group Documentary – 1st – “Nakita Khrushev” -Xenia Belicuic, Somon Boiboboed, Paulo Riviera, and Martin Korcak Group Exhibit – 2nd – "Harriet Tubman” - Shelbie Herring and Kalea Taylor, 3rd – “Thomas More" - Leea Tuck and Dalton Dillard. Sponsors are teachers Elizabeth Cowan, Scott Walker, and Rose Irvin.
The Izard County Lady Cougars swept a doubleheader from the Mammoth Spring Lady Bears, 22-5 and 19-18, at Mammoth Spring on April 6. The Lady Cougars (9-0 overall and 7-0 in the 2A/1A-3 Conference), were led in the first game by Abby Brashear and Kennedy Cooper with two hits and three RBIs each and Kristen Caraway, Shyann Morris, Kaitlyn Tullis, and Harley Thomason added two RBIs each. Shelby Morris contributed one hit, two stolen bases and one RBI, Leea Tuck one hit, and Natalie Everett one stolen base for the Lady Cougars. Caraway (2-0) also had five strikeouts in going the distance on the mound for the Lady Cougars. In the nightcap, the Lady Cougars rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to win, 19-18, over the Lady Bears. Caraway and Brashear (1-0) combined for seven strikeouts on the mound for the Lady Cougars. Shelby Morris, Tuck, Thomason and Caraway had two RBIs each, Shyann Morris had an RBI, and Cooper added a solo homer for the Lady Cougars.
The Izard County Lady Cougars rallied from an 8-6 sixth inning deficit with a four run sixth inning and held on to outlast the Flippin Lady Bobcats, 10-8 at Brockwell in 2A/1A-3 Conference softball action. The Lady Cougars (7-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference) were led by Shelby Morris, Shyann Morris, and Abby Brashear with 2 hits and 3 RBIs each. Kennedy Cooper, Natalie Everett, and Kaitlyn Tullis added an RBI each for the Lady Cougars.
The Izard County Lady Cougars ran their record to 6-0 with an 8-1 victory at Brockwell on April 3. The Lady Cougars (4-0 in the conference) were led by Laney Rider, Abby Brashear, and Kaitlyn Tullis with an RBI each. Rider got the win on the hill and had six strikeouts and Kristen Caraway pitched one inning and had two strikeouts.
The Cougars also had a 6-5 victory over the Panthers.
The Izard County Lady Cougars defeated the Manila Lady Lions, 12-1, in the finals to win the Cougar Slam Softball Tournament at Brockwell on April 1. The Lady Cougars (5-0) were led by Laney Rider and Shyann Morris with 2 RBIs each and Kristen Caraway had an RBI and three stolen bases for the Lady Cougars. Rider got the win on the mound for the Lady Cougars. Earlier in the day, the Lady Cougars defeated the Mammoth Spring Lady Bears, 10-0. Rider and Abby Brashear had 2 RBIs each for the Lady Cougars and Kennedy Cooper added 1 RBI, 1 stolen base, and a home run for the Lady Cougars. Brashear was the winning pitcher for the Lady Cougars. Other teams in the tournament were Melbourne and Flippin.