Instate High School (talent production)

Central High School student pop 2,489
NLR High School student pop 2,469

6.2 miles apart (11 minute drive)

Why is their such a huge discrepancy in Basketball & Football Division 1 talent :o

Is it coaching, facilities, student participation?

All of the above.

A quick Google search shows that NLR had 105 kids on its roster last season according to MaxPreps. Central had 75. Is there D-I/SEC talent among those 30 Central kids who chose not to play football? Certainly there might be.

It’s cool to play BB in central Arkansas, but football not so much. You go to most LR FB games and there’s hardly anyone in the stands. Kids like to play in a nice environment and where there’s an emphasis on a sport and BB has that and FB doesn’t in the Little Rock district. A lot of that is funding.

Scooter has done a good job of getting the numbers up at LRC and NLR started back in the right direction with Bolding and now coach Mitchell.

I was out of state whenever the Northeast Chargers and the Ole Main Wildcats turned into NLR’s Charging Wildcats. Did they immediately become one of the state’s top programs or did it take a while? I believe I remember hearing at the time they became one of the state’s largest schools, if not the biggest. Central used to be the top dog in central Arkansas, but those seem a distant memory.

Question is what took so long for kids and parents to figure out it is cooler to play basketball than football.

However, much small number of kids can be on a basketball team. So, participation in football should be still there. Health concerns of playing football may be playing a role here.

They were average for several years even after the merger. They still haven’t won a football state championship in modern times.

In recent years, they have became a basketball power in boys and girls.

The gyms are packed for BB. Stadiums on Friday nights can look pretty sad. Which sport would you want to play?

The lack of funding and deemphasis of athletics has the district in the shape it is today. You look around the state and outside LR and you see nice facilities and you also see large numbers out for football.

Central is not that great in basketball either. Hall and Parkview have better programs, year in and year out, despite being smaller schools. Central is kind of stuck at the same level as a lot of other schools in the county, not terrible but not great.

The numbers for football North Little Rock are fine, they’ve got a new stadium and the current coach appears to be doing a good job. It’s not out of the realm of possibility they could win a state championship in the next few years, but it’s not probable. They have their hands full in conference most years with Conway, Cabot and Bryant.

Right now the best big school program in the state is Fayetteville, and FHS is very likely to stay that way. They have the best combination of talent base, coaching, money, facilities and community support among the big schools.