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Danville football is back after shortened 2022 season

The Little Johns are returning with a vengeance this year after a devastating number of injuries ended their 2022 campaign after only two games.

DANVILLE, Arkansas — In the shadows of the Ouachita Mountains in Yell County sits Little Johns stadium. Now if you’re not from the small town of Danville, you may ask the question what exactly is a Little John?

Athletic Director Steve Pfeifer was happy to answer. 

"The name comes from the river that runs right outside of town. The Petit Jean River which means Little John in French," he explained.

Unfortunately, football fans in this town were “Les Misérables” at the end of 2022. The team only played two games before a devastating number of injuries ended their campaign. 

Head Coach Kody Hamlin added that while everybody knew it was best, it didn't fix the hurt of a season lost.

There were no tickets to sell and no seats full— but soon these empty benches will be full once again. 

“We’re back and you’re right. That’s been the talk of the town and the café. Businesses as well. You know the businesses of Danville have been so great and they help us out with anything we need," he explained. "Community support has rallied this football team. After starting with just 17 players in 2022, the Little Johns have 25 heading into this season with growth expected over the coming years."

Hamlin and the players are excited to be back on the field this season.

"Words can’t express how exciting it is. To be back to normal and have both teams going. It feels great, feels good, and I feel like a coach again," he added.

A return to normalcy for a coach, a team, and a town as the Little Johns can expect Big Crowds on Friday nights. 

Pfeifer credited Danville citizens for the continuation of the program thanks to their passion for football. 

"A tribute to the community and they’re just not willing to let the football program die. We’re going to work hard and we’re going to do whatever it takes to be successful," he said.

Danville will open the season on the road at Mountainburg next Friday and their home opener is September 22 against Magnet Cove.


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