The Helena-West Helena Central Cougars have earned the respect of the state's leading high school football publication, Hooten's Arkansas Football, with a preseason top 10 ranking in Class 4A. The ranking was the highest achieved among the three football playing schools in the Arkansas Activities Association. The magazine is available locally at Wal-Mart.
The Cougars are also picked to finish second in the 4A-2 conference, just behind Newport. Those two teams will have a top-10 clash in Cad Polk Stadium on September 26. The Cougars open the season at Cad Polk on September 5 against Dollarway. All Cougar games will be broadcast by Delta Force 3's KCLT 104.9 FM and online via www.force3radio.com and via the Radio Loyalty app for smartphones.
Barton comes in picked to finish second in the 3A-2 conference behind Harding Academy but is not in the preseason top 10.
Marvell, in its second year under Barton alum Jessie McGruder, will look to build off its season ending win over Palestine-Wheatley last year in the 2A-6.