December 16 in Bryant athletic history: 2009

Chris Rycraw. (photo by Rick Nation)Josh Hampton. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Hornets earn post-season honors

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

By Rob Patrick

BRYANT, AR — Bryant Hornets running back Chris Rycraw, wide receiver Brandon Parish and two-way lineman Josh Hampton have been named All-State in Class 7A for the 2009 high school football season.

The Hornets also had three all-conference selections, offensive lineman Kaleb Burns, linebacker Trey Sowell and safety Brady Butler.Butler and Hampton are juniors, the other four are seniors.[more]

Brandon Parish. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Rycraw, who set a new school record for rushing yards (1,514), attempts (284) and rushing touchdowns (17) as a junior, shattered his own mark for yardage (1,651) and equaled his rushing touchdown record (17) while adding one as a receiver, during his senior season. He is the program’s career-record holder in all three categories, rushing for 3,205 yards on 556 attempts for 34 touchdowns rushing and 35 overall.

One of three finalists for the Hooten’s Arkansas Football/State Farm Insurance Offensive Player of the Year Award in Class 6A/7A, Rycraw was also voted the outstanding back in the 7A-Central Conference. In addition, he’s a finalist for the annual Landers Award.

“Is there anything I can say about Chris that folks don’t already know?” said Hornets head coach Paul Calley. “How much he meant to our overall program, not just the offense. He was a leader. He led by example, and he’s just a great football player.”

Kaleb Burns (Photo by Rick Nation)

Parish was the team’s top receiver as a junior when, despite injuries to one quarterback after another which greatly limited the passing game, he caught 18 passes for 187 yards. As a senior, he had 43 receptions for 633 yards and nine touchdowns. He also served as holder for field goals and extra points and played some at corner during his career. In addition, he subbed for placekicker Jace Denker when he was injured for the Sheridan game this fall and converted 5 of 6 extra points.

“I don’t think Brandon had a drop all year,” Calley said. “He was our go-to guy. He was the guy we looked to in crucial situations because we knew he would make plays.”

Hampton played defensive tackle, defensive end and tight end this season. He caught three passes for 26 yards and was in on 51 tackles with three sacks on the defensive line.

Brady Butler (Photo by Rick Nation)

“Hampton played 75 to 80 percent of the snaps every game,” Calley noted. “He was an average defensive lineman but that’s because he had to play offense too. A lot of times, he was tired. But he is an outstanding blocker. He’s got great hands, great feet and a lot of the coaches felt like he was dominant at tight end as far as a blocker goes.”

Sowell came a long way during the off-season after being penciled in for a linebacker spot in the spring. He wound up being the team’s top tackler, getting in on 90 stops including four for losses. He added a team-high 12 tackles on special teams and broke-up a pass.

“Trey was our leader on defense,” Calley acknowledged.

Butler was second on the team with 68 tackles, one for a loss, an interception which he returned for a touchdown, a break-up and a fumble recovery. He was in on five special teams tackles. Playing wide receiver early in the season, he caught a pair of passes for 12 yards.

Trey Sowell (Photo by Rick Nation)

“Brady really hadn’t played a lot of safety,” Calley said, “but he came on and got better each game and, towards the end of the year, was playing real well.”

Burns was the lone returning starter on the offensive line for the Hornets coming off the 2008 season, helping to clear the way for much of the team’s offensive production over those two years (6,750 yards of total offense).

“Kaleb was our most consistent offensive lineman,” commented the coach. “He’s a student of the game. He tended to out-think himself sometimes but he was a very good blocker for us. Towards the end of the year, I had to shuffle the offensive line around and I was able to do that because of him because he was able to play several different positions.”



Final, unofficial through 11 games

BRYANT 149 118 50 20 — 337

Opponents 23 28 70 35 — 156

Team stats


First down 182 121

Rushes-yds 419-2,280 396-1,565

Passing 98-177-7 64-153-4

Passing yds 1,302 795

Fumbles-lost 18-6 21-8

Penalties yds 65-508 76-581


Rushing: Rycraw 261-1,651, J.Jones 45-251, Powell 39-101, Easterling 37-83, Garland 2-54, Tolbert 3-45, Freshour 4-31, Reed 4-23, Arnold 12-41, Harris 2-11, Winfrey 1-2, Pritchett 2-(-9), Cross 2-(-14), Davidson 4-(-18).

Passing (C-A-I-Y): Easterling 87-156-7-1,069 (11 TD), Davidson 9-18-0-159 (1 TD), Tolbert 1-1-0-47 (1 TD), Rycraw 1-2-0-27 (1 TD).

Receiving: Parish 43-633, Garland 20-276, Rycraw 11-71, Arnold 5-61, Winfrey 4-112, Nichols 3-43, J.Hampton 3-26, Powell 2-34, Butler 2-12, Harris 2-10, Reed 1-10, Garrett 1-8, Heil 1-6.

Scoring: Rycraw 114 (18 td-r, 1 td-rec), Parish 59 (9 td-rec. 5 of 6 xtra-pt.), Denker 57 (8 of 10 fg. {40, 22, 42, 26, 42, 31, 37, 29}, 34 of 37 xtra-pt.), Jones 18 (3 td-r), Garland 30 (2 ko-ret., 1 td-r., 2 td-rec.), Easterling 12 (2 td-r), Bullock 6 (1 int. ret.), Butler 6 (1 td-int. ret.), Harris 6 (1 td-rec), Powell 12 (1 td-r., 1 td-rec), Tolbert 6 (1 ko-ret), Winfrey 6 (1 td-rec.), J.Hampton 2 (1 conv.-pass).

Tackles: Sowell 90, Butler 68, Mayall 63, Bullock 56, Oxner 56, Hampton 51, Maxwell 49, Tolbert 48, Watson 42, Heil 40, Cox 40, Grimmett 39, Chavis 38, Jones 25, Glasper 23, Wise 17, Blasi 14, Garland 9, R.Smith 7, Brady 7, Perlson 6, Chapdelaine 4.

Tackles for loss: Maxwell 7, Heil 4, Sowell 4, Grimmett 3, Chavis 3, Hampton 3, Jones 2, Tolbert 2, Mayall 2, Bullock 1, Chapdelaine 1, R.Smith 1, Oxner 1, Butler 1, Cox 1.

Special teams tackles: Sowell 12, Chavis 10, Tolbert 8, Glasper 8, Wise 6, Butler 5, Watson 5, Cox 3, Perlson 2, Freshour 2.

Interceptions: Mayall 1, Bullock 1, Butler 1, Sowell 1.

Breakups: Blasi 3, Oxner 3, Farr 3, Garland 2, Sowell 1, Bullock 1, Watson 1, Mayall 1, Butler 1.

Fumble recoveries: Mayall 4, Glasper 1, Dunahoo 1, Watson 1, Butler 1, Maxwell 1.Sacks: Cox 4, Mayall 3, Heil 3, Maxwell 3, Hampton 3, Grimmett 3.

Blocked kicks: Mayall 4, Powell 1, Cox 1.

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