HOPE – The Hope Bobcats go into conference play against DeQueen away Friday night in a winless rebuilding season, but not without game cred.
Hope scored a total of 40 points against two of its toughest rivals, Nashville and Ashdown, to start non-conference play opposite two teams that have conference or playoff aspirations in their own league play in 7-4A. Although, beset by nerves in the season opener against Little Rock Hall, the Cats have begun to find their grove.
The Bobcats enter 5A-South conference play with experience that no-one could buy as they face the Leopards, who were 0-10 last season and rebuilding as well.
Hope has proven it can run and pass under the field direction of Quarterback Ammorrion Dempsey and the running/pass reception chops of backs Kearon Brown and Chelerome McFadden.
As well as some stellar defense from the likes of Safety Javaris Solomon, who turned an Ashdown fumble recovery into a 27-yard touchdown.
DeQueen scored 6 points against a total of 84 from Ashdown and Nashville, while Hope scored 40 against 81 points in those two outings. In non-conference play, the Leopards are 13 to165 in scoring while Hope is 40 to 87, although the Bobcats’ match against neighboring Prescott was cancelled.
DeQueen returns 25 lettermen this season, but only four offensive and nine defensive starters under first year head coach Brad Chesshir. The Leopards have experience at quarterback, but have only one returning offensive lineman to protect the ball. But, DeQueen has most of its experience returning on defense, with four linemen and four veterans in the defensive backfield.
Tickets to the game will be distributed from 9-11 a.m. through Thursday morning at the Hope High School MAC building on a “first come, first serve” basis. Only 200 tickets have been made available to Hope fans, according to HPS Co-Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Phillip Turner.
Turner said Bobcat fans who obtain a ticket will be required to present the ticket and a $5 gate admission at the DeQueen stadium. Fans will enter through a designated gate where they will present tickets and pay for them, he said. Turner said DeQueen will require fans to wear face masks and observe social distancing in seating marked for game use.