The Izard County High School Chess Team won the Class 1A-3A State Runner-up trophy at Benton High School on April 2. Izard County defeated Booneville and Greers Ferry Westside, tied Lamar, and narrowly lost to Marshall in the 10 team state tournament. Team members include Andrew Walker, Eric Vest, Patrick King, James Norton, Benji Norton, and Andy Norton. The team is coached by Steven Walker. This runner-up finish marks the 12thtime Izard County has won a state tournament trophy since 2002 with eight state championships, three state runner-up finishes, and one third place trophy. Izard County has also won 13 regional championships since 2002. Marshall placed first, Lamar third, and Kirby fourth in the overall standings. The tournament was conducted by the Chess Association of Arkansas Schools and it was sanctioned by the Arkansas Activities Association.
Andrew Walker of Izard County, Bryan Parnell of Calico Rock, and Travis Lewis were voted All State in senior boys basketball by the coaches of the 1A 2 North Conference for the second consecutive year. Walker, Parnell, and Lewis were joined on the All Conference first team by Clay Mosley of Izard County, Wyatt Chapman of Norfork, and Trevor Himshoot of Viola. Walker and Parnell were named first team All Conference for the third consecutive season. Logan Skaggs of Mammoth Spring, Taylor Reynolds of Izard County, Brett James of Calico Rock, Dyllan Nunnally of Hillcrest, and Sagan Godwin of Mammoth Spring were named to the second team and Dalton Lund of Viola, Tyson Durham of Hillcrest, Grant Casey of Norfork, and Coby Jones of Izard County were named Honorable Mention. All Star Nominees in order were Walker, Parnell, Mosley, Chapman, and Himshoot. Coach Kyle McCandlis of Izard County was named the conference’s Outstanding Coach of the Year and the conference’s All Star Coach nominee. Izard County won both the conference and district titles this season, were regional runner-up, and finished in the Elite Eight in the state tournament on their way to a 36-8 record. Calico Rock was conference runner-up and Norfork was district runner-up and finished in the Elite Eight in the state tournament.
Kennedy Cooper of Izard County and Kelsey Fry of Calico Rock repeated as All State players this season in senior girls and Marleigh Dodson of Norfork joined them this season. Cooper, Dodson, Fry, Jen King of Izard County, and Ivy McGowan of Norfork were named first team All Conference. Sam King of Izard County, Katie Hamby of Calico Rock, Taylor Madden of Mammoth Spring, Riley Scalf of Norfork, and Amanda Martin of Viola comprise the second team. Honorable Mention were Carly Otwell of Hillcrest, Harley Thomason of Izard County, Timi Killian of calico Rock, Destiny Crawford of Viola, and Erin Sherrell of Calico Rock. The All Star Nominee is Fry. Coach Tim Massey of Izard County was named the conference’s Outstanding Coach of the Year and Coach Josh layman was selected as the conference’s All Star Coach nominee. Izard County won the conference and regional titles and finished in the Elite Eight with a 36-6 record, Norfork and Calico Rock were co-conference runner-ups, and Norfork won the district title this year.
Caleb Faulkner and Coby Everett of Izard County, Logan Dickerson and Cole Whiteaker of Calico Rock, and Colten Rose of Hillcrest were named to the junior boys’ All Conference first team. Cole Wallis and Dalton Dillard of Izard County, Devon Cray of Mammoth Spring, gage Harris of Viola, and Connor Sanders of Calico Rock were named to the second team. Honorable mention were Carson Guffey of Viola, Zach Anglin of Hillcrest, Alex Mero of Mammoth Spring, Bryson Thiel of Norfork, Chris Gray of Mammoth Spring, and Cody Willard of Hillcrest. Izard County was conference and district champs and had a 25-4 season record. Calico Rock and conference and district runner-up.
Macy Dillard and Kinley Stowers of Norfork, Brianna Hocum and Lauren Mitchell of Mammoth Spring, and Laney Rider of Izard County were named to the junior girls’ All Conference first team. Molly Morgan and Mikayla Smith of Hillcrest, Terra Godwin of Mammoth Spring, Keyaira Moore of Viola, and Braidlyn Fierce of Viola were named to the second team. Honorable mention includes Mackynzie Rangel of Norfork, Stephanie Henry of Mammoth Spring, Maura Thomason of Izard County, Emma Mitchell of Calico Rock, and Sami McCandlis of Viola. Mammoth Spring won the conference and district titles this year and Norfork was conference and district runner-ups.
The Izard County Lady Cougars rallied from a 17 point halftime deficit to cut the lead to five in the second half, but ran out of gas and lost to the Pocahontas Lady Redskins, 50-41, in the championship game of the Lyon College Invitational Tournament on December 13 in Batesville. The Lady Cougars (14-4) were led by Jen King with 12 points and Sam King with 10 points. Natalie Everett added six points and Kennedy Cooper five for the Lady Cougars. Sam King and Cooper were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
In the semifinals, the Lady Cougars dropped the Cedar Ridge Lady Timberwolves, 53-44. Cooper had the hot hand for Izard County, scoring 12 first-quarter points, and then adding eight more in the fourth to help the Lady Cougars claim the semifinal win over Cedar Ridge. Cooper scored 26 points for the Lady Cougars. Sam King added 13 points and Natalie Everett dropped in six for Izard County. Arkansas Razorbacks Head Coach Jimmy Dykes was in attendance to watch Cooper’s performance.
The Lady Cougars led the high-scoring first quarter 19-16, then stretched the advantage to 32-24 at the half. Cedar Ridge was held to just two points in the third quarter, which enabled the Izard County to pull out to a 40-26 lead and the Lady Cougars coasted from there.
In a low scoring affair, the Lady Cougars pulled off a close win 32-30 over the Lady Southerners in the quarterfinals on December 10. Izard County trailed 15-7 after the first quarter, but scored 10 points in the second quarter. Southside led 24-17 at halftime as Sydney Sweat had six points to lead the Southerners. Izard County was able to find its offense in the second half as it outscored Southside 15-6 in the second half. The Lady Cougars were led by Sam King with 10 points. Jen King also totaled seven points, while Kennedy Cooper had six.
The Southside Southerners defeated the Izard County Cougars, 63-47, in the quarterfinals of the Lyon College Tournament at Batesville on December 10. The Cougars (14-4) were outscored 24-11 in the fourth quarter. Southside was 20 of 23 from the foul line and the Cougars were 10 of 12. Andrew Walker led all scorers with 19 points and Taylor Reynolds added 16 for the Cougars. James Norton contributed six points and Clay Mosley four points for the Cougars. Walker was named to the All-Tournament Team
Sam King, Kennedy Cooper, and Andrew Walker of Izard County were named to the Lyon College All Tournament Team.
L-R Sam King, Kennedy Cooper, and Andrew Walker
The Izard County Cougars jumped out to a 29-10 halftime lead and cruised to s 53-36 victory over the Mammoth Spring Bears at Brockwell in a 1A 2 North Conference game at Brockwell on November 20.. The Cougars (11-1 and 2-0) were led by Andrew Walker with 26 points, six rebounds, and three assists and Coby Jones added 17 points and three blocks. Taylor Reynolds added six points and six assists, Clay Mosley two points, and Tanner Brooks two points for the Cougars. Isaiah Dehazo led the Bears with 12 points. Logan Skaggs added 11 points and Sagan Godwin 10 points for the Bears. The Cougars led 13-6 after one quarter, 29-10 at the half, and 44-27 after three quarters
The Izard County Lady Cougars mauled the Mammoth Spring Lady Bears, 65-25, at Brockwell on November 20 in a 1A 2 North Conference game. The Lady Cougars (7-3 and 2-0) were led by Kennedy Cooper with 20 points and Kristen Caraway added 13 points. Abby Brashear and Jen King contributed 10 points each for the Lady Cougars. Natalie Everett chipped in five points, Erica Sac three points, Harley Thomason two points, and Sam King two points for the Lady Cougars.The Lady Cougars led 14-0 after one quarter, 35-8 at the half, and 56-19 after three quarters.
The Izard County Junior Cougars defeated the Mammoth Spring Junior Bears, 44-25. Cole Wallis led the Junior Cougars (9-3 and 2-0) with 14 points and five rebounds. Caleb Faulkner added 11 points and Coby Everett 10 points. Noah Everett contributed six points and Chase Orf three points for the Junior Cougars. The Junior Cougars trailed 5-0 after one quarter, led 19-10 at the half, and led 26-10 after three quarters.
Superintendent Fred Walker gave the board a report on the annual summer ACT Prep course provided for ICC students each summer at the school. He said 19 students participated in the program and 95 percent of them showed improvement on their ACT score from previous tests. The average composite ACT score was 22.6 which is well above the state average of 21.1. The highest student composite score was a 30. Walker said that the state is changing state tests to the ACT and ACT Aspire for grades 3-11 next year. He said that ICC has been focusing on increasing college readiness skills for its students for many years and he is glad to see the state move to a plan that will test for those skills in the future. In addition, Walker said that ICC would offer two tests next year in September and April for its students in grades 9-12 due to a special arrangement with ACT.
Superintendent Fred Walker announced to the board that the high school had recently been awarded a $20,000 Computer Science Grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. Walker said the grant focuses on providing hardware, teacher training, and student incentives for Izard County High School to teach computer science courses at the school. He said the computer science course that will be taught in the 2015-16 school year at Izard County High School will be Essentials of Computer Programming and the district may add the following two courses later to the high school curriculum: Computer Science and Mathematics, and AP Computer Science. Walker said that these computer science courses have been endorsed by Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Arkansas Computer Science Task Force and all schools have to offer one of these courses this fall. Izard County and Cave City are the only districts in Fulton, Izard, or Sharp County that will offer a specified computer science course with an instructor on campus this fall. Walker said that the district’s Technology Coordinator, Steven Walker, had applied for the $20,000 ADE grant and he will teach the Essentials of Computer Science course this fall at the high school.