In an announcement earlier this month, the Ouachita Reapers, a semi-pro football team, announced their partner- ship with the Waldron Parks/Waldron Schools to call Sawyer-Wright Field their field for home games.
The Ouachita Reap- ers, a football team from Mena, began their pre-season during the month of January.
Wesley Schuller, a 2009 graduate of Mena High School and former 3-year starter for the Mena Bearcats football team, says he was con- tacted earlier last April about joining a semi-pro football team. Weeks later, Schuller ended up joining a team called the Fort Smith Lions.
After a few months of driving back and forth to Fort Smith, Schuller and a few other players de- cided to bring a team to Mena. Schuller says, “I wanted to give the people in our town, community, and area another team that they could really feel like is their hometown team, so that is when I decided to call us the Ouachita Reapers.”
Anyone 18 years of age or older, or any 17 year olds with a guardian’s signature can play for the Reapers. Schuller says, “No one is compensated for their time or efforts. We all play strictly for the
love of the game and to represent our communi- ty.”
The Reapers are cur- rently coached by Donald Thomas, an active de- ployed veteran from Fort Smith, Arkansas, who is expected to return back this month.
Current players in- clude many men from the area. Schuller says, “a lot of them are former Bear- cats.”
“We are always look- ing for more players and coaches”, said Schuller. Players have to provide their own equipment and funds to purchase their uniforms. Schuller says, “We are currently looking for sponsors to help off- set some of the costs that we incur playing.”
As far as their league, the Ouachita Reapers are
a part of the Triumph Football League, which includes a couple of teams from Arkansas, a team from Shreveport, Lou- siana, and a team from Dallas, Texas. Schuller said, “ We are joining a brand new league. This year is going to be a trial run for it.”
This past Saturday, March 23rd, the Reapers played their first regu- lar season game at Saw- yer-Wright Field and were defeated by the Sil- verbacks of Hope 44-0.
This Saturday, March 30, the Reapers will host the Dallas Bulldogs at Sawyer-Wright Field, be- fore traveling to Shreve- port, Louisiana for their first road game against the Knights.