Fayetteville’s hopes to repeat as Class 7A champs will depend on some new faces


ALMA – Fayetteville’s quest to defend its Class 7A state gridiron championship will depend in at on several new faces, many who were on display at Friday’s 11th annual Lumber One 7 on 7 Showcase tournament at Alma.

That includes new quarterback Garyt Odom, who will take over for Minnesota signee Drake Lindsey, who passed for 3,745 yards and 52 touchdowns with just three interceptions in a 13-0 season.

“It’s not easy to replace a guy like Drake, who had a great season and led us to the state championship, but we feel like we have a guy in Garyt Odom that has a chance to be really special as well,” Fayetteville High head coach Casey Dick said. “We are definitely have some new faces in new places.”

Odom, who is son of former Arkansas defensive coordinator and current UNLV head coach Barry Odom, played at Shiloh Christian as a sophomore.

He followed his dad to Las Vegas and played for Faith Lutheran as a junior while splitting time at quarterback last season. Odom rushed for 643 yards and 9 touchdowns and passed for 523 yards and 7 more scores.

He played in his team’s first 11 games before missing the final two contests due to a leg 1injury.

“The biggest thing is that he is coach’s kid and he gets it,” Dick said. “He has been around a coaching family and understands football. We are excited about him.

“He loves the game and going out and getting better and understanding why we are asking him to do certain things in certain situations. Just seeing that growth from him has been awesome.”

Jason Dellamar, an Arkansas baseball signee, is the Purple Bulldogs top receiver returning after catching 89 passes for 1,374 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“He is a talented player and is successful in anything he does baseball, football and I think he would be unbelievable at basketball, too,” Dick said.

“He is one of those guys coming back the everybody knows about this year. Now everybody is going to have a plan on how to defend him this year so he will have to go out and play the way he is capable of playing.”

Fayetteville was among 15 teams that participated in the Lumber One event with Bentonville downed Bentonville West 35-16 in the championship game.

Bentonville downed Greenwood 16-15 after rallying from a 15-0 deficit and Bentonville West topped Fort Smith Southside 27-7 in the semifinals.

The Purple Bulldogs, who will be at Arkansas camp on Thursday, shined in pool play on Friday morning, but fell 21-20 in the second round of the single elimination in the afternoon.

“I think we got out here, did some good things and got better and that’s what you want to do at this time early in the summer,” Dick said. “We have some questions to get answered, like bringing along the secondary, but we feel good about the kids that are working and where they will be after this summer and headed into the fall.”

Photo by John D. James