BRYANT, Ark. — Anyone who knows Bryant Hornet football knows their slogan: #Be212.
It's in their football facility. It's a hashtag on every one of their tweets. But what does Be 212 mean?
“It’s basically just when water boils," said Hornet head football coach, Buck James. "It’s an effort thing. And our kids really bought into it and it’s something that gives us some identity now.”
Be 212 has been James' personal mantra since before he got to Bryant, all the way back in 2013. And he came across it almost on accident.
“I was actually at a coach’s clinic and stumbled into a Walmart manager’s meeting," said James. "And that’s what they were talking about. And I thought, the kids that we had at the time, we were looking for some identity, and I thought it was something we could use for effort.”
James brought it with him when he came to Saline County in 2016.
"He and I met four years ago, offsite right after he was hired," said Mark Knowles, President of the Hornet Touchdown Club. “At that first meeting he said to me, he told me, 'Mark, if this senior class will buy into what I’m trying to do, we’re going to win a state championship in three years.'”
The community embraced it almost immediately.
"Well I think it took them a minute to get ready for me," James remembered, laughing. "That was the hardest thing to get over. I think the 212 is something the kids bought into a little quicker than they did what I wanted to do to be 212. I think when they saw the attention to detail, the effort, the work ethic, the daily grind that it takes to be a 212 kind of guy, I think that’s when it really sunk it.”
Soon #Be212 was everywhere. But James had no idea how far it had spread until the Hornets won their first state title in 2018.
“I think the day we left for state championship practice and when we left gas was $2.18 and when we came back it was $2.12. And our kids went nuts," James said. "I think that was the day that I thought well 212 has arrived."
#Be212 has become the unofficial, official brand of the Bryant Hornets.
Mark Knowles handles social media for the football program and he's seen the #Be212 message spread across every part of the district.
"Every facet of our district, they all want to be the best at what they do," Knowles said. "So it was easy to put that brand out there and people to latch on to it. Because down to their core, everybody wants to be successful. Everybody wants to be the best at what they do. They just need to be shown a way to do it. And that’s what they’re learning here."
In 2019, Bryant has taken #Be212 a step further.
Lindsay Fell, an art teacher at Parkview Elementary in the Bryant School District, created Bryant specific Bitmojis, or rather, Buzzmojis.
“They're Bryant Hornets in motion that communicate a message of encouragement, school spirit and kindness," she said.
She made them with the help of the Hornet students. And they're a ready reminder to always be their best and to put in that little extra effort.
"Sometimes what stands between you and the success that you’re wanting or you and sharing your gifts to the best of your ability is just your effort," Fell said. "And all of that is within your control. And I think that’s a really powerful message for kids."
Of course, it's no surprise which Buzzmoji is her favorite.
“Oh I love them all, but I think the Buck-moji is by far the best," said Fell. “It’s just that 212. That branding of Be 212 because that’s what you see and hear everywhere from Coach James.”
Four years ago, Buck James challenge a football team to be better. What he's done is inspired and entire community to be their best. To #Be212.