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Izard County to host 1A state tourney

By Scott McDonald Guard Sports Editor

For the second time in three years, Izard County High School in Brockwell will be the host of the Class 1A State Basketball Tournament.

The district has known that they will host the state tournament for a couple of weeks now but it did not become official until Thursday afternoon when the Arkansas Activities Association's Board of Directors met at the Airport Holiday Inn in Little Rock to select most of the state and regional tournament sites for 2019.

And that's not all for the area as far as state events go. Batesville's Pioneer Stadium was picked to host the Class 4A Track and Field Meet while Southside was selected to host three state tournaments: baseball, softball and soccer.

It will the third straight year that Southside will host the Class 4A State Soccer Tournament. The Southerners and Lady Southerners host the Class 4A State Baseball and Softball Tournaments for the first time but will also host the 4A-East Regional Tournaments as well, the second straight year in doing so.

What makes all of this unique is the fact that Batesville and Southside are in the same conference, and for the two largest schools in the area that means they will stay home for each of the four spring state sporting events.

Batesville will host the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet on April 30. Baseball and softball regionals are scheduled for May 2-4 and state tournaments May 9-11 with the state finals in Fayetteville May 17-18.

But before the spring sports come around, there is a basketball season to finish. And all of the six state tournament are spread all over the state this year.

Bentonville West was the lone bidder for Class 6A while Lake Hamilton was the lone bidder for 5A. There were two choices for 4A with Magnolia winning over Harrison. Osceola was the lone bidder for 3A and Carlisle beat out three other schools for the chance to host the 2A state for the first time since 2010.

Usually, there are several bidders for the Class 1A State Basketball Tournament every year but by the last week of December no one had sent a bid in to the AAA office.

"We were originally going to bid on the regional tournament," Izard County superintendent Fred Walker said. "Well, then we find out that no one had bid on the state so we decided we would go ahead and do that. I don't know what reasons other schools had for not bidding. But we are thrilled to death to be hosting again."

Izard County withdrew its bid to host the 1A Region 2 which instead went to Calico Rock, just up the road from Brockwell.

"We are already hosting the (1A-2) district tournament so there was no way we were going to host those tournaments three consecutive weeks," Walker said.

Izard County had been contemplating on hosting the state again, possibly next season as its senior boys team are currently ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 1A and is a favorite to win the championship not only this season but next year too.

"With our boys team having such a good season it will be great for our fans to be able to stay at home and watch them, assuming that we qualify of course, "Walker said.

As for the Batesville and Southside teams, if they qualify for the 4A state tournament, they will be making the 4-hour trip to Magnolia. But the good news is the regional they will play in, the 4A-East, will take place just up the road at Highland.

Below is a complete list of all the regional and state sites selected by the AAA board on Thursday?

BASKETBALL

State Tournaments

Feb. 26-March 2

Class 6A -- Bentonville West

Class 5A -- Lake Hamilton

Class 4A -- Magnolia

Class 3A -- Osceola

Class 2A -- Carlisle

Class 1A -- Izard County

Finals

March 9-10

All Classes -- Hot Springs

Regional Tournaments

Feb. 20-23

4A-North -- Morrilton

4A-East -- Highland

4A-South -- Mena

3A-1 -- Mountain View

3A-2 -- No bid

3A-3 -- Trumann

3A-4 -- Prescott

2A-North -- Rector

2A-West -- Danville

2A-South -- Junction City

2A-Central -- Quitman

1A-1 -- County Line

1A-2 -- Calico Rock

1A-3 -- Mount Vernon-Enola

1A-4 -- Bradley

BASEBALL

State Tournaments

May 9-11

Class 6A -- Rogers

Class 5A -- Benton

Class 4A -- Southside

Class 3A -- Harrison

Class 2A -- Mountain Home

Class 1A -- Taylor

Finals

May 17-18

All Classes -- Fayetteville

Regionals

May 2-4

4A-North -- No bid

4A-East -- Southside

4A-South -- Magnolia

3A-1 -- West Fork

3A-2 -- No bid

3A-3 -- Palestine-Wheatley

3A-4 -- Ashdown

2A-North -- Harrison

2A-West -- McCrory

2A-South -- Parkers Chapel

2A-Central -- Carlisle

1A-1 -- Scranton

1A-2 -- Viola

1A-3 -- West Side Greers Ferry

1A-4 -- Taylor

SOFTBALL

State Tournaments

May 9-11

Class 6A -- Bentonville

Class 5A -- Benton

Class 4A -- Southside

Class 3A -- Harrison

Class 2A -- Mountain Home

Class 1A -- Taylor

Finals

May 17-18

All Classes -- Fayetteville

Regionals

May 2-4

4A-North -- Farmington

4A-East -- Southside

4A-South -- Magnolia

3A-1 -- West Fork

3A-2 -- Paris

3A-3 -- Palestine-Wheatley

3A-4 -- Ashdown

2A-North -- Harrison

2A-West -- McCrory

2A-South -- Parkers Chapel

2A-Central -- Carlisle

1A-1 -- Scranton

1A-2 -- Viola

1A-3 -- West Side Greers Ferry

1A-4 -- Taylor

SOCCER

State Tournaments

May 9-11

Class 6A -- Conway

Class 5A -- Searcy

Class 4A -- Southside

Class 3A -- No bid

Finals

May 17-18

All Classes -- Fayetteville

TRACK & FIELD

State Meets

April 29-May3

Class 6A&5A -- Lake Hamilton

Class 4A -- Batesville

Class 3A -- Green Forest

Class 2A -- England

Class 1A -- Mineral Springs

Meet of Champs

May 11

Lake Hamilton

Decathlon/Heptathlon

May 15-16

Fayetteville

VOLLEYBALL

State Tournaments

Oct. 29-31

Class 6A -- Cabot

Class 5A -- Hot Springs Lakeside

Class 4A -- Morrilton

Class 3A -- Paris

Class 2A -- Yellville-Summit