A new date for an old rivalry and a continuation of[more] a newer one.
With the release of the 2012 Bryant Hornets football schedule recently comes the news that the Salt Bowl, the annual renewal of the Saline County rivalry between the Hornets and the Benton Panthers will be held Friday, Sept. 21. Instead of opening the season, as has been the case in recent years, the two teams will play in week four as the opener of play in the 7A/6A-South Conference.
The Hornets also will continue three rivalries with teams from their Central Conference days, starting the season on Friday, Aug. 31, at home against the Conway Wampus Cats. The Hornets will play the Little Rock Central Tigers on Sept. 7 at home and the Little Rock Catholic Rockets at War Memorial Stadium on Sept. 14.
Those will be non-conference contests.
In addition to playing Benton, the Hornets will take on South conference teams Pine Bluff, Little Rock Fair, Sheridan, Texarkana, Lake Hamilton and El Dorado. The last two of those will be the final two regular-season contests for Bryant. El Dorado defeated Lake Hamilton for the Class 6A State championship this fall and both figure to be title threats in 2012 as well.
Bryant will be the lone Class 7A school in the South, moving from the Central as part of the realignment of the top two classifications for the latest two-year enrollment cycle by the Arkansas Activities Association.
In recent years, the Hornets have been playing pre-season benefit scrimmages against Pine Bluff but, in 2012 with the two schools in the same conference, Bryant will instead scrimmage Little Rock Hall on Aug. 21.
The 2012 schedule: