Little Rock Parkview’s football players got a double case of the Bolding brothers when fall practice opened on Monday morning.
Patriots head coach Brad Bolding, whose team finished 9-4 with a loss in the Class 6A state playoff quarterfinal round last season, brought his older brother Bobby on as defensive coordinator after he ended up a run as White Hall’s head coach.
Those two will get a chance to show off the program when Parkview host Springdale Har-Ber Thursday night, August 25 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in the state’s second game of the 2022 season.
“We are getting along great and I couldn’t be happier and excited,” Brad Bolding said. “He’s got a heck of a defense over there and we have a great staff to work with. I am really excited about us taking the field and what we are going to be able to do defensively just because of the people (nine starters) we have coming back and what we are running. I think scheme-wise it is going to be very difficult.”
Parkview edged White Hall 13-10 last season in week two’s Battle of the Boldings.
“I tell you White Hall was probably the best defensive team that we played last year,” Brad Bolding said. “They shut everything down that we could do except run our running quarterback. Had they caught us later in the year when (quarterback) Jaylon (White) couldn’t run when he hurt his groin in the Greenwood game.
“That’s what makes me excited. His scheme is so sound and everybody is where they are supposed to be. It is tough to call plays against.”
The Patriots went with one long practice on Monday morning.
“We obviously got a new defense so there is a lot of learning to take place,” Bolding said. “But I thought our kids were excited to be out there, we got out there early, they moved around well. The grind will be in a week or two when it heats back up again and that day will come.
“We only go once, but we go for quite a bit and we get in meetings and all those things that you do pre-practice stuff and things like the kicking game.”
Even though Parkview plays in just 24 days, Bolding doesn’t wnt to rush things.
“The expectations are really high for us,” Bolding said. “We are starting off like basic vanilla, making sure that things we might have have had issues with in during team camps and 7-on-7. We are trying to clean those up.
“I’ve got at least nine back on defense and some pretty good skill players back on offense. The offensive line is our biggest question mark right now and we are trying to create some depth there.”
Little Rock Parkview is Hooten’s Arkansas Football’s preseason choice to win the Class 5A South Conference after dropping down from Class 6A.
The 5A South also includes Magnolia, Camden Fairview, Hot Springs Lakeside, Hot Springs, Texarkana, Hope and De Queen.
“We are trying to maintain that 6A mentality while playing 5A football and we feel like if do that, it’s an advantage for us,” Bolding said. “If we can, we are trying to eliminate all two way guys.
“I think 5A, you have got to bring it every week. We are not going to walk through anything.”
The travel is one of the one drawbacks per Bolding, whose brother is three years older than him and led White Hall to the Class 5A state title game in 2021 before losing to Pulaski Academy.
“I would say what I am really not looking forward is to all the driving we will have to do going South,” Bolding said. “The positive is just playing some teams that I have not before. We are in a situation of how we have been playing really well in 6A football and moving down to 5A, we feel like we have a good chance of being in the top echelon of 5A football, especially with PA moving up. That obviously helps. They have been the king of it in 5A for a long time.
“We are excited about it. We feel like if we keep working hard, there is a possibility that we could win a state championship and be the first one since that great Little Rock Central team of a long time ago.”
He knows practice will get tougher as the month goes along with a scrimmage against Little Rock Catholic a week ahead of the opener.
“I am sure they whenever we start back to school, we will have to push through it, but the main thing is for us to get better,” Bolding said. “That’s how we will look at every day.”