Photo by Kate Patrick
The 2016 football schedule for the Bryant Hornets has been released by Bryant Athletic Director Mike Lee and there will be plenty of challenges for the team, new head coach Buck James and his staff, including a Sept. 9 home game against defending Class 7A State champion Fayetteville.
The annual Salt Bowl against the rival Benton Panthers will open the season as usual. It will be played on Friday, Sept. 2, at War Memorial Stadium.
The Hornets will play in a revamped 7A-Central Conference, which will no longer be a mixed 7A/6A league. Holdovers along with Bryant are Little Rock Catholic and Conway. But taking the place of Van Buren (moved to the 7A-West) and 6A members Greenwood, Alma, Siloam Springs and Russellville will be Fort Smith Northside, Fort Smith Southside, Cabot, Little Rock Central and North Little Rock.
Of the eight teams in the new league, seven played in the Class 7A State playoffs last season. Only Little Rock Central did not qualify.
Central was one of Bryant’s non-conference foes in recent years. With the addition of the Tigers in the Central conference, the empty spot in the non-conference finale on Sept. 16, Lake Hamilton, an old South Conference rival, has been added.
The Hornets are coming off a 9-2 season that concluded with a 30-24 loss to Fayetteville in the second round of the playoffs. Longtime head coach Paul Calley resigned after the season and took the head-coaching job at Benton Harmony Grove, succeeding the late Red Parker.
James was hired off the Little Rock Christian staff after a highly-successful stint as the head coach at Camden Fairview.
2016 varsity football schedule
Aug. 26 — at Pulaski Academy (pre-season scrimmage)
Sept. 2 — Benton (Salt Bowl, War Memorial Stadium, LR)
Sept. 9 — Fayetteville (Pee Wee Cheer)
Sept. 16 — at Lake Hamilton
Sept. 23 — Fort Smith Northside* (State recognition)
Sept. 29 — at LR Catholic* (War Memorial Stadium)
Oct. 7 — Little Rock Central* (Mass Band)
Oct. 14 — at Fort Smith Southside*
Oct. 21 — Cabot* (homecoming)
Oct. 28 — at North Little Rock*
Nov. 4 — Conway* (Senior Night)
*7A-Central Conference games
2016 JV/Sophomore football schedule
Sept. 5 — at Pine Bluff
Sept. 12 — at Maumelle (soph)
Sept. 12 — LR Catholic (JV)
Sept. 19 — Hot Springs Lakeside
Sept. 26 — LR Fair (JV)
Sept. 26 — at LR McClellan (soph)
Oct. 3 — North Little Rock (JV)
Oct. 3 — at Fountain Lake (soph)
Oct. 10 — at Hot Springs Lakeside
Oct. 17 — Benton (JV)
Oct. 24 — Cabot (JV)