Monday, August 6, 2018
Time is running out for the Little Rock Fair War Eagles' football program.
There are just two seasons to go for a team that won a championship in the state's largest classification in 1998 but has compiled an overall record of 9-117 over the last 12 seasons.
War Eagles at a glance
COACH Roosevelt Turner
CONFERENCE 5A Central
2017 RECORD 0-10, 0-7
KEY RETURNERS OL/DL Colton Turner (Jr.), TE Jarvis Hynes (Sr.), WR/DB Justin Lockheart (Sr.), WR/DB Nolan Young (Sr.)
Aug. 31;at LR Hall
Sept. 7;at Morrilton
Sept. 14;LR McClellan
Sept. 21;at Pulaski Academy*
Sept. 28;White Hall*
Oct. 5;at LR Christian*
Oct. 19;at Watson Chapel*
Oct. 26;at Beebe*
Nov. 1;LR Parkview*
Fair and Little Rock McClellan are scheduled to merge following the 2019-2020 academic year. Fair Coach Roosevelt Turner took over the program in 2014. Since then, Fair has yet to win a game on the field (Morrilton had to forfeit a 60-0 Week Two victory over Fair in 2016 because of an ineligible player). Turner has overseen the last 40 games of a 50-game losing streak that stretches back to the 2013 season opener.
Turner said such futility has served to simplify his and his players' goal.
"We just want to win a game," Turner said. "That's all we have to do."
Turner said even a victory for Fair's junior varsity team would help satisfy his objective. In fact, Fair's junior-varsity schedule is part of Turner's new strategy. He said he plans to have each player on his roster play in every varsity and junior varsity game this season, or a total of 17 games.
"This year, with a full JV schedule, everyone is going to dress out for the JV games, from ninth grade through the 12th grade," Turner said. "I'm going to have guys play JV and varsity. Even my seniors are going to play at least two quarters. We're going to see if that will help us."
Turner said he was grateful to have enough players in summer drills to practice at all. He has had a dozen at most through the first week of fall practice, and a total of 16, typical numbers since he became Fair's head coach.
"I always have to wait until school starts for everyone to start showing up," Turner said.
Junior center and defensive lineman Colton Turner has been a rarity for Turner.
"He's one the players I can count on," Turner said.
Colton Turner said he believes Fair has a reasonable chance to end its losing streak this season.
"We have a lot of potential," Colton said. "We've got a few people who actually want to step up this year."
Turner said he was uncertain which of three players would begin the season at quarterback for Fair. Through the first week of practice, the top candidates are juniors James Benton and Buster Hunter, and sophomore Marquise Hicks.
"Right now it's a tossup between Buster and James," Turner said.
Turner said Benton and Hunter have participated in preseason drills, whereas Hicks has yet to appear.
Senior wide receiver and defensive back Henry Brooks is the only player to have participated in all four of Turner's seasons as head coach.
"He's the only four-year senior I got," Turner said.
Regardless of who plays where, Turner said everyone understands what one win or more this season will take.
"We need effort, excitement, and enthusiasm," Turner said. "Those are the three E's that we've tried to bring to the forefront, and that's what it's going to take."
"It's going to take consistency and repetition," Colton Turner said. "Its just going to take hard work to get there."
Sports on 08/06/2018
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