It’s doubtful there was anyone more at home in the weather delay at the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All Star game than the three man contingent from Booneville.
After all, West assistant coach Scott Hyatt and players Cody Harrel and Dalton Gray have been there, done that. The three waited out two delays to win the Class 4A state title at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in December.
Friday’s game at Estes Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas got started 58 minutes late due to lightning in the vicinity.
“Every coach was blaming me,” said Hyatt. “They were doing the introductions and you could see it coming. About the time they got to the coaches the bottom fell out of it. We were all soaked before it started.”
Gray was tabbed the outstanding lineman of Conference 4A-4 to receive an invitation to the game, which the West won 23-14 behind 222 passing yards by Rogers Heritage’s Josh Qualls and a fourth quarter goal line stand.
Though he started at an outside linebacker spot and deep snapped, Harrel was the league’s top back to score an invitation. A defensive tackle as a Bearcat, Gray shifted to the noseguard position Friday.
As the deep snapper, Harrel was involved in the play that set up a safety that gave the West a two-score lead, because the punt went to the 1-yard line and Watson Chapel’s Joshua Harris made one of his six tackles in the end zone.
Gray, Hyatt said, “was the reason (the East) had so many bad snaps, he was just hammering their center. Him and our other noseguard (Davonte Charles of Gurdon) both.”
Hyatt, who was the defensive coordinator for the West, becomes the third different head coach to represent Booneville in the all star game.