Hornets Recognized For State Playoff Run

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Hornets Recognized For State Playoff Run

Chris Morgan, Sports Editor

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Filling three buses with students, the 2018 Hornet football team took a trip back to Little Rock for a fourth, and presumably final time. They settled in at the state capitol, just over two miles from War Memorial Stadium, where two months earlier on Dec. 1, the team walked off the field 7A State champions after topping off the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats 27-7. The Hornets were front and center, recognized by the state’s leading government officials.

Leading the Hornets, head coach Buck James thought it was an honor to be recognized by the state’s leaders.

“I think it’s special,” James said. “I don’t think the players can wrap their heads around what it means right now. For [the legislators and governor] to take time out [of] a busy day to recognize our football team is a huge [deal]. Our kids really were pumped up about it and seemed really excited.”

All of the seniors on the team packed into the back hall, leading onto the floor of the Senate chamber, while the remaining players peered onto the floor from the balcony above.

Senator Kim Hammer of District 33 proposed SR 2 of the 92nd General Assembly titled: “TO CONGRATULATE THE BRYANT HORNETS FOOTBALL TEAM ON WINNING THE 2018 CLASS 7A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.”

The resolution mentioned the 114-member-team and recognized that the team was “well-led by head coach Buck James and captains Logan Burton, Blaise Smith, Kajuan Robinson, and Nate Wallace.”

James also noted on the resolution, “Dreams do come true. I could not be prouder of our football team, school and community. It was a 212 day! Proud to be a Hornet.”

“The thing I probably enjoyed most was looking up and seeing the galleries full of Bryant Hornet football players,” James said.

Following receiving recognition by the State Senate, the team walked to the opposing side of the third floor of the State capitol to the House of Representatives. Following a review of the prior workday, the House voted in favor of passing HR 1003, created by Rep. Julie Mayberry (27th district), Rep. Jason Kelly (28th district), Rep. Andy Davis (31st district) and Rep. Lanny Fite (23rd district).

After both resolutions were passed, the team met on the main stairwell leading to the upper floor of the capitol. Once there, the team posed for a group photo before meeting with Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Hutchinson congratulated the team for their 11-2 overall regular season record and commended the team for continuing to work hard even after their two losses. Hutchinson compared the team to his own political career after losing the race for governor in 2006 to Democrat Mike Beebe. Hutchinson ran again in the 2014 election, winning the race over Democrat Mike Ross.

James sees the experience as a whole as a meaningful moment that the players will be able to remember after leaving Bryant.

“It’s just a lifetime of memories,” James said. “You get to the final of what you’re working for, and you establish and make memories. As for them as teammates, that will probably [be] the last time they all ride on a bus together.”