COMMERCE — Maybe history will repeat itself.
Commerce faces Green Forest, Arkansas, here Friday, Sept. 7,
The last time the Tigers faced a team from “The Natural State” was in 1978, when Charles Nally’s Tigers suffered a 31-0 loss at Van Buren.
Commerce bounced back from that loss to win 10 straight games and move on to play in the Class A state championship game, where they suffered a 6-3 loss to Watonga at Union Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa.
In other action Friday night, it will be Miami at Tahlequah Sequoyah, Tulsa Webster at Afton, Wyandotte at Quapaw, Chelsea at Fairland, Welch at South Coffeyville and Foyil at Bluejacket.
The only other time the Tigers have played an Arkansas team was 1933, when they faced Rogers.
Green Forest is located on U.S. Highway 62, about halfway between Eureka Springs and Harrison, and 35 miles south of Branson, Missouri.
Both teams, who have a Tiger as their mascot, enter the game with 0-1 records.
CHS dropped a 46-10 decision to Adair while Green Forest suffered a 14-7 setback against Yellville-Summit, Arkansas.
“We had a halftime lead and made too many mistakes in the second half to be able to win it,” Green Forest head coach Bobby Bishop said of the loss to Yellville-Summit.
Key players include senior Jordan Zepeda Mahaffey, a two-year starter at tailback/inside linebacker and sophomore quarterback Reiley Gordon. He also doubles over at safety.
“We’re a base Power-I team,” Bishop said. “That’s where we start everything and we branch out from there, run some pro-I and slot-I. From the film Coach Moss shared with us, we look similar.”
This is Bishop’s fourth season at his alma mater, which will compete in Arkansas’ Class 4 this season.
“We feel we can be competitive with our non-conference schedule and we can play with the lower half of our conference (4A Region I),” Bishop said.
“We’re optimistic. We’re just taking it one game at a time and hopefully we’ll going to get a little bit better as we go through and finally get to our league.”
Bishop said there are about 1,300 students in grades K through 12. The senior class will be between 70 and 80 students.