Without question, football is king of the sports world in Phillips County. However, the sport on the high school level did not exactly produce a bumper crop of success stories in 2012. As usual the Barton Bears rode the farthest distance in the playoffs bowing to the Paris Eagles in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. The DeSoto Thunderbirds fell in the opening round of the MPSA playoffs to the Winona Academy Stars. The Marvell Academy Eagles, winless in 2011, made it to the 8-man football league playoffs. However, there were numerous success stories perhaps of a lesser nature on the Phillips County sport scene. No doubt, they were just as important to those parents as any high school football championship. On National Signing Day (Feb. 1) DeKeathan Williams of the Central High School Cougars signed a letter of intent to play college football with the Arkansas State Red Wolves. That same day, Barton's Ethan Roberts inked a pact to play collegiate football with the Harding University Bison. Five members of the CHS Cougar football team were selected to the 2011 All District and All State football teams. They were Jack Walker, All Conference; Jarrod Ross, All Conference; Xavier Flowers, All State; DeKeathan Williams, All State; and Khalil Byrd, All State. Cody Manning became the reigning king of ping-pong on the Phillips College campus after winning the college's intramural ping-pong tournament. Dr. Alfred Y. Gordon Jr., formerly of Phillips County and member of DeSoto High School's Hall of Fame, was selected the Southeastern Conference's Physician of the Year. DeSoto's Junior Lady T-Birds claimed the District 1-A North girls basketball championship of 2012. PCCUA hosted an intramural basketball jamboree in March. The girls also participated in the state AIRSA intramural basketball tournament. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission funded the expansion of the boat-launching ramp at the Helena River Park. The third annual Larry Casey Memorial Bass Tournament netted $950 for Phillips County's Relay for Life effort. Another $144 was raised for Relay for Life through PCCUA's Shoot for the Cure 3-0n-3 basketball tourney. Pickelball, a cross between badminton, tennis and table tennis (ping-pong) became the intramural craze on the PCCUA campus during the spring. The local AAU basketball team, the Ballers, won first place in the state AAU tourney. The Ballers' eighth grade boys team, won the Silver Division championship at Hoopfest USA in Little Rock in April. DeSoto's golf team won the 2012 North State Golf Championship in May. Reed St. Columbia and Shelby Lammers each nailed holes-in-one less than a month apart in May and April respectively. Jim Sain, long-time defensive coordinator for legendary Coach Frank McClellan and the Barton Bears and former head coach of the Bears himself, retired from coaching at the end of 2012. Sain completed his career at West Memphis. A group of Twin City Athletic Association all-stars (7 and 8-year—olds) captured first place in a Father's Day baseball tourney at Brinkley. TCAA's 12 and Under all-stars were runners up in the district baseball tournament and were invited to play in the state tournament in July. Shelby Lammers and Charlotte McCarty won their fourth consecutive Grandparent/Grandchild ASGA golf tourney in July. The Arkansas Krush softball team won its second consecutive Eastern Arkansas district softball championship. Mike Reans, former Marvell Academy headmaster and girls basketball coach, was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Coaches on Aug. 11. The PCCUA Ridgerunners won the 2012 ADIL intramural flag football tournament held in October. The team also captured the Arkansas Delta Intramural League flag football championship.