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Jackets kick off season early at UCA

Eleven of the top team’s in the state and a Memphis powerhouse start Arkansas’ 2011 high school season during Simmons First/Hootens.com Kickoff Week.

Simmons First/Hootens.com Kickoff Week begins with a doubleheader on the purple-and-gray turf at UCA in Conway on Monday, Aug. 27. Shiloh Christian meets Class 4A state title contender Warren, and Arkansas Baptist battles Clinton. The four teams combined to win 32 games in 2011.

The Yellow Jackets, which Hooten’s has rated 17th in the 4A division, is scheduled to take the field at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, at UCA. The Arkansas Baptist Eagles are new to the 4A this season.

UAPB’s Golden Lion Stadium in Pine Bluff hosts a doubleheader on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Class 3A state title contender McGehee, winner of the 8-4A a year ago, meets Monticello at 5:30 p.m. followed by 2011 5A Southeast champion White Hall against up-and-coming Hamburg.

On Thursday, Aug. 30, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, defending Class 7A champion Fayetteville opens against Memphis University School after Class 5A favorite Watson Chapel challenges new 7A/6A West member Siloam Springs at 6 p.m. The four teams combined to win 32 games in 2011.

The 12 participants in this year’s kickoff week combined for 94 wins (7.8 wins per team) last season. Shiloh Christian has won four state titles in six years. Fayetteville has won two Class 7A titles in the past five season. MUS has captured for Tennessee state titles in the past eight years.

In the event’s 12-year history, 17 teams started runs to the state finals during Simmons First/Hootens.com Kickoff Week. Four teams that played in the 2009 Kickoff Week reached the state title game.

“Simmons First is excited about our continued sponsorship of the Simmons First/Hootens.com Kickoff Week,” said Robert Dill, executive vice president and marketing director for Simmons First Nation Corp. “Arkansas football fans look forward to this annual event which features the top high school teams representing communities from across our state.”

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