Parkwood Offensive Starting Positions Up For Grabs

Share this:

New Parkwood High School head football coach Tim Speakman has wiped the Rebels depth chart clean.

Speakman was named the Rebels head football coach last spring and the new coach said every starting position on offense and defense is up for grabs. Speakman was first hired as the girls softball coach last fall and he guided the Rebels to the Class 2A Softball Championship earlier this month.

“The good part of me coming in as a new coach is that nobody’s position is safe,” Speakman said. “They are going to have to work for it. They are all going to have to work for it. It gives everybody a fresh chance. It’s going to be a matter of putting the time in the weight room this summer and putting the time in with film sessions and the other football related activities that we have.

“Those that put the time in and do a good job are going to get the best opportunity.”

Parkwood has been hitting the weight room hard the past few weeks and the Rebels started drills on the field this week in anticipation of the 2017 season opener when Central Academy of Technology and Arts visits August 18.

Parkwood was elevated to Class 3A for the upcoming school year and the Rebels will compete in the Southern Carolina Conference.

“We are working real hard right now in the weight room,” Speakman said. “We are trying to get a little bit stronger and a little bit faster. We had a good week and this week will be a little more intense. Overall, we are pleased with how we have progressed.”

Speakman said Parkview will operate a spread offense with some option thrown in at times. Parkwood switched to the spread last season after running a Wing-T attack. Speakman is currently looking for a new offensive coordinator and he said he hopes to have the new coach on board by the beginning of next week.

“What we are trying to do is base everything on the personnel that we have,” Speakman said. “I’m relying on the coaches that were here last year for a lot of information right now. The important thing is to make sure we fit our system to the personnel that we have. We have to adapt our system to the type of kids that we have.”

Rising senior Eli Ackerman (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) is the top candidate at quarterback after completing 113 of 187 passes for 1,495 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Rising sophomore Brock Cain was also expected to be in the mix at quarterback but he suffered a knee injury during baseball and may miss most, if not all, of football season.

“We are also going to take a look at some young guys that we have coming up,” Speakman said. “Luke McWhorter played wide receiver and we may possibly move him to quarterback. Again, we don’t know.”

Rising senior Jajuan Benton is another top returnee on offense after rushing for almost 900 yards last season while making almost 30 catches for 300 yards.

Speakman said the offensive line is a big question mark heading into the season.’

“We are going to be young and we are going to be inexperienced,” Speakman said. “We have some new guys that played at the jayvee level last year. We are going to have to share some of our defensive players with the offense.”

Share this:

Previous articleMarvin Ridge High Seniors Win Third Place In International Science Competition
Next articleCanine Influenza H3N2 Virus in NC
Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at