Little Rock High School football

I think it’s been discussed often that UA football sits way behind the 8 ball in recruiting when LR isn’t producing D1 talent.

My question is why is there such a void here? Is it lack of coaching, facilities…I’ve heard basketball is taking the talent. Is that the same case in LA Ok and Miss? I wonder what Baton Rouge does differently than Little Rock in their high schools?

If it’s a money thing I wonder if booster money would be better spent on coaching salaries and facility improvements…marketing campaigns to get kids to come out for football.

I know it was a big topic for Nutt and he did his best to improve LR football. Seems he focused on camps, and did something new with 7 on 7 in the offseason…or something to that effect.

Welcome any thoughts to this

NLRHS football is scaling up in football. I believe that Parkview will see an increase in participation now that Bolding is there. I think in about 4-5 years we will see Central AR, particularly LR/NLR, high school football trending UP!.
Yes, facilities are an issue… , but lack of quality coaches has been too.

We need the coaching staff to come up with some activities to discuss the downfall and solutions. We need to create visibility in LR and get DMAC, Keith Jackson, Joe Johnson, DJ Williams, Portis and others to influence kids to play more than BB/try football.

Go check out the facilities out at Robinson. They are on the upswing as well.

Overall, you’ve had a negative media bent toward football with all of the concussion talk, injuries, etc. Then, locally, you’ve got players who would be D1 football talent 6th, 7th, or further off the bench in basketball. I’ve heard interviews that reflected those players were encouraged to play football too but they don’t. Football is a physical game and kids practice early all summer in the heat, usually early in the morning. I think there are so many factors involved it’s hard to say its just one or two things and fix it.

We need to do something to influence the school districts and coaches at the HS level to help these kids. Some coaches can be selfish and want to keep every kid in basketball for depth. The problem is that there are plenty of 6-5 to 6-7 kids playing center and 5-11 guards in high school that have no future in basketball.

Well, if you think the football coaches at those schools aren’t trying then you are wrong. But you’ve got parents influencing otherwise, you’ve got peers influencing otherwise, and football just doesn’t have the same “street cred” as being a baller on the court.

Make it so that f you want to play basketball, you must at least try out for football and play if you make the team. Some high schools in Texas and elsewhere do that. And don’t tell me this can’t be done. HS kids aren’t owed anything, legally or otherwise. Make the rule and enforce it.

LR football (and in turn Razorback football) needs a boost and this is it. And I don’t really care about the negative impact on UA basketball, if any. So what? The UA hasn’t been truly relevant in basketball in 20+ years. And it may not be a negative anyway. Plus, you only need a few BB players to succeed. LR football improvement is a tide that would lift many boats.

The problems with football in LR go way beyond kids playing basketball instead, many of the issues go back to the desegregation lawsuit in the 80s. It seems like someone wrote a series of articles about HS football in LR just a few years ago that covered the issues fairly well, but I don’t remember who. I couldn’t find them in quick google search, but the first half of this article is pretty good:

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IMO the biggest issue is kids not getting involved in middle school due to a lack of transportation for practice. I heard the LR schools don’t even have an athletics elective during the last period of school anymore, which means any weightlifting or conditioning in the off-season has to be done after classes, which means no bus ride home.

I agree with what you say about there being systemic issues with LR school district. And true, there has been no elective athletic period. But I don’t think the right answer is to make kids try out for football if they want to play basketball. What are you going to do the first time that happens and a kid who wanted to play basketball gets seriously hurt at football tryouts/practice? You think school districts want the liability from that rule?

Living in LR I see all these [post regarding this from people that don’ t live here and find it somewhat amusing. The LR School District is being run the Arkansas Department of Education, it has dysfunctional school all over the place including Hall to name one school that use to produce some players. Money, lack of parental support, and lots of other things are all contributing to the problem. The suggestion that they make a rule that a kid can’t play baseball if they don’t try out for football would probably generate a lawsuit so fast it would make your head spin. Nothing is simple or easy in regards to the LRSD.

If you are referring to me, no I don’t currently live there but I did grow up there and most of my family is still there. And I wasn’t promoting the making kids play football to play other sports idea, I think it’s stupid. Like a kid is going to play hard if he doesn’t want to be there.

Just curious, but how many D-1 players was the LRSD producing in its hay day?

Lawsuits? Please. Just like Petrino was going to bring a bunch of lawsuits to the UA. I lived in LR and went to public schools there for a time. Got a bunch of friends that still live there. Need to do something drastic. Quite a few D1 players from there in 70s and 80s.

The first time a kid gets hurt forced to play football because he wants to play baseball the lawsuits would start piling up

Is someone really advocating the state force a kid to play a sport against their will? That’s insane

I think tryouts could be modified with phases of increased intensity or physical contact. Players could be tested and tried at various positions to determine fit and then practice without pads in respective roles/fits.

I don’t think you can make kids play something they don’t want to play. To work, you have to make it cool and popular. The first thing to do is build good facilities, get good equipment and make sure that it’s all state of the art equipment. I saw that at Joe T. Robinson last winter. There is a reason that program is on the rise.

In talking to Todd Eskola, there was an attempt several years back to make sure the top players there were getting scholarship opportunities in football. That means they were taking large chunks of the better players to camps where they would be exposed at Division II and Division I coaches. They did that in the summer.

If I remember right, that is the same way Charles Ripley built his program at Little Rock Parkview years ago in basketball. He took the players in a van to games and camps as far away as he could possibly afford. I recall seeing him at games in Springfield, Mo, between Tulsa and Missouri State (then SW Missouri). Rip told me he took his top 5-7 players to a Saturday night college game every weekend. That makes an impact on the players. He also made sure they got their grades so they would be eligible in college.

Coaches that care make a difference. When there are more coaches doing stuff like that, football will bounce back in Little Rock.

Brad Bolding seems to have a little Ripley in him. He might not use the same methods but he gets the kids out for football. He did it at Mayflower and NLR.

He will help Parkview.

LRSD football will never be back. The facilities and funding are atrocious. There may be a few glimmers of hope ever once in a while, most recently and currently at Parkview, and somewhat Central, but it will not last.

Bolding may have some success at Parkview, but he will tire of the constant uphill battle and move on.

I also think kids prefer basketball theses days more because there is more cred in basketball as someone said earlier, and kids these days don’t want to work as hard, i.e. lifting, running, etc… They look at basketball as more fun as they are getting to play the game more even when they are just practicing.

It isn’t just one magic pill that will bring LRSD football back because the problem is a collection.

Agreed, there is no magic pill. Many have tried, all have failed. I do think some of the county schools like Joe T. Robinson have it figured out pretty well. But the LRSD has not figured it out. They are tapped out on funds and that means football isn’t getting what it needs. Might not be possible to give it what it needs.

It’s sad from a societal point that the LRSD is disconnected with so many young kids. Many of those are also at risk youth that need something to belong to other than a gang or the street. What are these kids connected to if not for sense of community (taken away by busing), pride of community, belong to visible team of the community and parents with pride in the community?

Busing served it’s purpose decades ago, but now it has strangled the schools, students and parents. Busing of the at risk kids is more damaging because most don’t have anyone that can leave work to pick them up after band or sports practice. Extracurricular activities for at risk youth are decimated by busing. It is time to return to neighborhood schools now that we have tried busing for numerous failed decades. The lawyers in this mess don’t want this to be settled because they have made a career off of the LRSD troubles.