Well I would have lost that bet.
When the Arkansas Activities Association announced the classifications assignments for the next two-year cycle — 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 — I looked back at the last time that Booneville faced each of the current 3A-4 members in football for my May 8 column.
Of course I knew that if Booneville went in, that meant someone obviously had to vacate if the AAA was going to keep with its traditional eight school conference grouping policy.
A lot of folks thought that would be Cedarville. That made sense, since the Pirates could easily venture on into northwest Arkansas for conference action.
I thought about Atkins vacating for the 3A-2 but that seemed a bit much so my guess was it would be Danville going south toward Hot Springs to fill a hole by Fountain Lake moving up.
As announced last week, it wound up being both Cedarville and Atkins vacating the 3A-4, with Booneville and Two Rivers coming into the fold. School officials have to be pleased.
With a conference that includes two teams from Logan, Yell and Sebastian County and one each from Franklin and Johnson counties, the longest trip on a Thursday night is just east of Clarksville. It is one of the better arrangements.
Since it doesn’t involve Booneville, some may take a Devil may care attitude but take the aforementioned Atkins — the assignments released last week put the Red Devils on the edge of a conference that includes Barton, Harding Academy, Bald Knob and Marianna Lee. Wow.
Cedarville gets to venture not only into northwest Arkansas to Elkins, Green Forest and Greenland, but also to north central for Marshall and Yelleville Summitt.
The 3A-3 is nicely grouped with three in Mississippi County and two more in Clay. The 3A-3 also includes Melbourne, who is a Bearcat, even if it is an incorrectly spelled one (Bearkatz).
The 3A-5 ranges from Benton (Harmony Grove) and Little Rock (Episcopal) to Prescott and Jessieville. The 3A-6 includes Smackover and Camden (Harmony Grove) as well as Lake Village and Genoa Central also along the southern edge of the state — almost from Mississippi to Texas.
As you may have noted in the story about conference assignments, basketball is not the same as football in 3A. Atkins is in the league, which has to be better than a Tuesday night trip to Marianna County, but Mansfield and Lavaca are not. The Tigers and Arrows may be at West Fork or Greenland on those nights.
But since Two Rivers is now in Booneville’s football conference I feel compelled to note that the schools have never met. Of course the Two Rivers Gators haven’t been around all that long. Booneville last faced Ola, in case you’re wondering, in 1932, a 20-0 win that is the only meeting with the Mustangs.