Kim Dameron

Kim Dameron has been hired as the new coach at Fort Smith Southside. He was previously head coach at Eastern Illinois from 2014-18 and was at Kansas last year as a defensive analyst. He replaces Jeff Williams, who resigned at Southside last month to coach Pea Ridge.

There will be three former Razorback players as head coaches in the 7A-West this fall. Casey Dick is at Fayetteville and Zak Clark is at Springdale. Crosby Tuck (Van Buren) was in the conference last year, but Van Buren and Southside are swapping conferences in the current cycle.

That seems to be a strange move.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

• The entire administration that was in place for most of his 16 seasons at Southside has retired. That includes the superintendent, principal and athletics director. I’m not sure why, but Southside just stopped winning in the last few years. It is one of the smallest 7A schools and Fort Smith isn’t experiencing much growth, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. Jeff won a lot of games in the first 10 or 11 years there.

• Pea Ridge is growing like crazy. It will be a 5A school this fall and there is some thought it will be 6A within two or four years. Bentonville doesn’t have a lot of space within its city limits to grow, so a lot of the growth is happening in the outlying communities - Pea Ridge, Centerton, Cave Springs, Bella Vista, Gravette. Three of those towns are zoned Bentonville Public Schools, but Pea Ridge is its own district.

I had NO IDEA, Wow. I thought of Pea Ridge as a little 2A or 3A school!

You drive through Pea Ridge and you get a vibe that it will continue to explode. Sub divisions popping up. Matt and I talked about this last week as to what it feels like. He said Farmington (with the way it grew west of Fayetteville in the last 15 years) and I think that is a perfect comparison.

According to Census estimates, Pea Ridge’s population has grown by 29.6 percent in the past 10 years.

Pea Ridge has been a pretty good 4A school for the past 10 years or so. They’ve won some conference championships and played in the state championship game in 2017.

Which sport? The 4A football title game in 2017 was Arkadelphia vs. Warren. Arkadelphia beat Pea Ridge at Pea Ridge in the semis that year,

It’s a typo. Pea Ridge played in the 4A game vs. Warren in 2016.


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