Clint Reed has put in the work at North Little Rock.
The long-time assistant was named the school’s head football coach earlier this summer and Reed will also pull double-duty as he remains the Dean of Students at the high school.
A graduate of Nashville and a former lineman at Arkansas Tech, Reed brings experience to his new role. He’s been with the district since 2015 before that he was an assistant at Lakeside in Hot Springs, among others, and also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Tech.
“Drinking water from a fire hose,” Reed said of taking over the program. “. It has been fast and furious, not enough time in the day sometimes. The change has been good for me, and I love the challenge.”
Reed said the coaching part has come relatively easy as, “ I have been blessed to have worked for some really good head coaches that have allowed me to be involved in some of the day to day things that go on as a head coach” and he said “the transition has been awesome so far. … It has been a very good, very positive start.
Reed said his time as a college player, then college coach, helped get him ready for the high school level.
“You are maturing as a young adult so you're starting to understand the game a little better,” he said, “Understanding why the coach is asking me to do it this way vs just doing it because the coach said do,” and added it was “ one of the best things I ever did for my career”
North Little Rock went 6-6 last season and lost in the 7A quarterfinals to Bentonville. This season, the ‘Cats are expected to be solid and Hootens Arkansas Football has them as the No. 10 team in 7A with a fifth place predicted in the conference.
There’s some talent back as well and linebacker Delkarai Davis was North Little Rock’s sole pick to the Hootens preseason 7A Super Team.
Reed said Davis holds down the defense at middle linebacker.
“He has to have patience, and help teach and lead individuals that did not play a lot last season,” Reed said of Davis, the team’s tackler last season on what Reed called a “really good defense.”
“This year will be completely different,” he added. “Two, maybe three, returning starters … Knowing there will be some growing pains and some mistakes made that we will have to overcome can be very difficult.”
Reed also singled out senior center Noah Taylor.
He’s the “leader of a returning group, mostly senior guys that have played and have been in the fight” Reed said. “Sometimes a group of this nature can be very hard to lead. He does a great job making the calls, making the adjustments, holding them accountable. We are blessed to have him back leading this group and offense.”
The season starts Aug. 25 when Little Rock Catholic comes to town and there’s not much travel this season as North Little Rock doesn’t leave Pulaski County until Oct. 27 when the Cats head to defending state champ Bryant. The regular season finale on Nov. 3 is at Cabot.
Reed doesn’t expect perfection this season.
“The trip will not be smooth all the time, there will be obstacles and bumps to navigate,” he said. “Celebrate the good things that happen, battle and fight the bad things. We can't worry about the things we can't control, win the simple victories in a day, Love and believe in ourselves and our team.”
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Coach: Clint Reed (0-0 career record, 1st season)
Hootens Arkansas Football ranking: No. 10 in 7A and picked to finish fifth in the conference
2022 record: 6-6
Base offense: Spread
Players to watch on offense: RB Jovante Harris / WR Jace White / WR Malachi Muhammed / QB Tyson Bradden / C Noah Taylor
Base defense: 4-2-5
Players to watch on defense: LB Delkarai Davis / LB Skyler Easter / DE AJ Johnson / DE J'Lynn Allen