On Friday night, 7A-Central Conference teams, the Fort Smith Northside Grizzlies and the Cabot Panthers played non-conference games in the middle of the season. It’s a rare thing, a by-product of the coronavirus pandemic, another of the plethora of oddities in 2020.
Northside was supposed to play Little Rock Central and Cabot was set to take on Little Rock Southwest. But both of the Little Rock teams were hit with the virus so they couldn’t play.
Instead of taking another week off — every team has an idle week as part of the Week 0 scheduling (Bryant’s came between wins over Marion and Trinity Christian of Cedar Hill, Texas) — the Grizzlies and Panthers found alternative opponents. Northside picked up Fayetteville, which has been scheduled to play Rogers only to have that game cancelled to the virus in Rogers. Cabot found an out-of-state opponent, Collierville, Tenn., and traveled over there to play.
Now it’s the Bryant Hornets’ turn. Scheduled to play Central for homecoming this Friday, the Hornets were left holding the bag when Central had to cancel the game. Homecoming was moved back two weeks to the next Bryant home game against Cabot on Oct. 23.
But the Hornets are now trying to find an opponent to take the Tigers’ place, particularly in light of the fact that their follow-up game is at Southwest. Will the Gryphons be back on the field by then?
Hornets head coach Buck James will be trying to contact potential opponents, but in-state teams have tried hard to avoid his two-time defending State champions.