By John R. Schirmer
The Scrapper season will get an early start when Nashville plays Watson Chapel in the 103.7 The Buzz Kickoff Classic Monday, Aug. 20, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The game marks the first day of Zero Week, which the Arkansas Activities Association created to allow teams to play their three non-conference games over a four-week period. Nashville and Watson Chapel will be the second game of the Arkansas high school season. Dollarway and McClellan will be first with a 5 p.m. game on Monday.
Zero Week still has a 10-game regular season, leaving open dates for participants. Nashville’s open date will be Sept. 14, a week before the District 7-4A opener against Arkadelphia Sept. 21 at Scrapper Stadium.
The Watson Chapel Wildcats are a familiar opponent for Nashville. The two teams last met in 2015, with Nashville winning 69-48 en route to a 15-0 season and the Class 4A state championship.
The teams did not play in 2016 or 2017, when the Scrappers went 2-0 against Idabel, Okla.
Nashville was 8-4 last season, 5-2 in District 7-4A. Booneville defeated the Scrappers 24-21 in the second round of the state playoffs.
Watson Chapel was 8-4 last season, 7-0 in conference.
Scrapper Coach Mike Volarvich expects the Wildcats to be “a very good football team. They’re ranked anywhere from fourth to seventh in Class 5A. They were undefeated last season in 5A South.”
Watson Chapel returns “a lot of good players. This should be an exciting game early.”
Nashville enters the season looking to improve on last year’s record and early exit from the playoffs. Volarvich said the Scrappers worked hard during the offseason, summer and fall camp. The players “do what they’re coached to do. They’re fun to be around.”