2019 Press Release
The 15th Annual Shootout of the South presented by Bowen Hefley Orthopedics/Arkansas Surgical Hospital takes place at Pulaski Academy (12701 Hinson Road) Friday, June 14th and Saturday the 15th. The twenty-six team field will participate in five pool games Friday beginning at 9:00 am and concluding at 8:00pm. Saturday, teams will begin play at 10:00 am in one of the four regional tournament brackets: Lumber 1 Home Center, Cost Plus Furniture Warehouse, Conway Glass, and Landers Auto Group. The winners of the regionals compete in the Bowen Hefley Orthopedics/Arkansas Surgical Hospital championship bracket and others will finish their day in The Manor/Hugg & Hall tournament bracket. Champions from each tournament will be crowned with title games slated for 5:30 pm at Joe B. Hatcher Stadium. Players and coaches can enjoy almost unlimited meals, waters, Gatorade, fruit, and snacks thanks to Hugg & Hall, The Manor, Cost Plus Furniture, and Goodwin Manor.
This year’s Shootout features several teams from the Natural State. Bo Hembree’s Warren Lumberjacks, a semifinalist last year, return. Also tournament mainstays the Monticello Billies, England Lions, and Searcy Lions return with very talented teams. The largest schools in Saline County, Benton and Bryant High School enter this year with high expectations.
Other Arkansas schools in the tournament are Harding Academy, Vilonia, and El Dorado. The Greenbrier Panthers, Malvern Leopards, and Dewitt Panthers are returning after taking a hiatus from tournament play. Another entry, Marion High School, is led by rising sophomore quarterback Daedrick Cail who was the 6A Sophomore of the Year. The Heber Springs Panthers return with three year starting quarterback Adam Martin at the helm. Little Rock Catholic and Maumelle High School enter this year’s tournament with experienced players on both sides of the ball. The lone northwest Arkansas school is Springdale High.
The four schools representing the state of Oklahoma are Afton, Stigler, Miami, and Heritage Hall. Last year’s tournament champion Keller High School (Texas) returns to defend their title. Another new entry into the tournament is Madison Ridgeland Academy. The Patriots were state runner up last season in Mississippi. Players to watch on their team are Colorado commitment Safety, Joe Perkins, and quarterback, Philip Short, a Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College commitment who passed for 3,200 yards last season.
The host school, Pulaski Academy Bruins, are led by senior dual threat quarterback Braden Bratcher. Bratcher was the leading passer in the state of Arkansas last year and led the Bruins to the top passing offense in America last season. Senior wide receivers Merritt Jones, Mason, Kolb, and Andrew Cobb anchor the Bruin receiving core. Slot receivers Braden Cash, Jalyn Witcher, and Dylan Allison are players to watch in the Bruin offense. Cooper White and Caleb Nichols are emerging this summer as offensive playmakers. Defensively, 3-year starter Trent Sawyer and corner Clay James are the leaders in the secondary along with linebackers Chris Connell, Clinton Wilson, and Futa Shinkawa.
Gavin Wells is a player to watch from Benton who has offers from OBU and Arkansas Tech. Past champion Heritage Hall boasts tight end Will Dunn who has offers from Northern Iowa and Missouri State. Also look out for athlete Phillip Smitherman who has offers from New Mexico State, Western Illinois, and all the Ivy League schools. Little Rock Christian makes a return to the tournament field this season. Offensively they are led by wideout Chris Hightower (Memphis, SMU, and Kansas) and Corey Platt (LA Tech) anchors the defense.
A final thanks to our sponsors. The tournament t-shirt sponsor is Adidas. The championship t-shirts are provided by Primary Residential Mortgage. A special thanks to Hugg & Hall and The Manor for providing meals for the teams both days. Edwards Food Giant graciously provided water and Gatorade for all players. Finally, Cost Plus Furniture, Hugg & Hall, and The Manor along with Roller Chenal Funeral Homes, provided tents for the tournament.
All-day admission into the tournament is $5.00 per person, and children 7 and under are free. Concessions will be available throughout tournament play.
We welcome all media to broadcast and/or cover the 15th Shootout of the South Tournament. Coaches and players will be available for interviews, and the hospitality room is open to all media members.