The banners whipping in the afternoon breeze are a constant reminder of what he came to grips with following the team's 2014 state championship run.

Good teams draw every opponent's best shot. That's never been more than this season.

"We get everyone's best shots," Kendrick said. "We played a really tough nonconference schedule, and right now we're trying to get healthy. We've been really banged up and beat up.'"

The Tigers (3-2) travel to Mansfield on Friday to play one of the hottest teams in the conference.

And no, we're not talking Booneville Bearcats. 

"They're flying on cloud nine right now, and on top of that they're (Mansfield) a really, really good football team," Kendrick said. "Coach (Craig) Bentley has them believing they can beat anybody in the state. Those guys have done a great job."

Kendrick isn't discounting Mansfield's first four wins against Hackett, Waldron, Lavaca and winless West Fork before beating a good 3-1 Greenland team last week. 

"You can throw the nonconference (records) out the window," Kendrick said.

Cedarville

The Pirates (1-4, 0-2) travel to Logan County to play the Paris Eagles.

For Cedarville, everything starts with the running game — and holding onto the football.

“We are averaging 300 on the ground a week," coach Max Washausen said. "We have to fix our fumble issue. Paris is a good team and we need to hold onto the ball to win.”

The Pirates have fumbled 17 times through the first five weeks.

Senior Tate Larue leads the team in rushing with 490 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Kelin Mitchell helps pace the Pirates with 407 yards on 48 carries and four touchdowns.

Isaiah Lawson has 372 yards on 47 carries.

Lavaca

The Golden Arrows (2-3, 1-1) look to bounce back Friday against Western Yell County.

Lavaca dropped a 29-8 decision last week to a strong Mountainburg squad.

"I was very pleased with our effort Friday against a big, physical Mountainburg team," Lavaca coach Brian Schlinker said. "(I) thought we fought hard."

The Wolverines (2-3, 0-2) are coming off back-to-back losses to Hector and Hackett.

"We need to have some good things happen early so we can build some momentum," Schlinker said. "Hopefully we can get out to a quick start offensively."

Mountainburg

The Dragons (3-1, 1-0) travel to Johnson County Westside on Friday.

Mountainburg had almost 500 yards of offense in last week's 29-8 win over Lavaca.

“We will work hard this week on us," coach Tom Harrell said. "We didn’t play well offensively against Lavaca. We had 459 yards of total offense, but we didn't finish drives. Defensively, we played better, but we still need to improve every week.”

Austin Taylor paces a balanced running game with 402 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Malachi West has added 350 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Mountainburg quarterback Ethan Gregory has 52 carries this season for 353 yards and seven touchdowns.

James Vanourny paces the defense with 50 tackles (22 solo) with an interception and a fumble recovery.

Ozark

The 3-2 Ozark Hillbillies take on the 5-0 Dardanelle Sand Lizards on Friday. Both teams are 2-0 in conference, however, and whoever wins will have the inside track in the 4A-4.

"They're very good up front on both sides of the ball," Ozark quarterback Dawson Dietz said. "Personally, they have one of the best passing defenses we've seen. I think we're going to have establish the running game."

Dietz threw three touchdowns in last week's win over Subiaco. But the Sand Lizards have allowed just 62 points through the first five weeks of the season, and they've given up just six in conference play.

Ozark hopes to get running back Daniel Woolsey back this week.

Booneville

The No. 1 team in the state didn't exactly cruise through September. There were some turnovers and penalties. And they punted some, too.

But the Bearcats (5-0, 2-0), who have moved on without injured quarterback Brandon Ulmer, aren't showing any signs of slowing down. The Cats opened conference with wins over struggling Paris and West Fork.

The schedule begins to heat up, however, this week when Greenland (3-2, 1-1) comes to town.

Paced by Carson Ray, the explosiveness of Mikey Hesson and Andrew Robertson, the Bearcats' big weapon continues to be its defense and offensive lines, respectively.

Mansfield

Five wins to start the season was enough to draw some love from state-wide media members this week.

Mansfield received a vote when writers sent out their Top 5 ballots.

Junior quarterback Ethan Stovall did his part to ensure a 5-0 start by throwing five touchdown passes in last week's 36-29 win over Greenland.

Stovall has accounted for 19 touchdowns in all, including seven rushing scores.

Hackett

The Hornets (2-3, 1-1) evened their conference record with Western Yell County last week. Quarterback Brady Hester set the tone last week by completing 6-of-7 passes for 97 yards. He ran for 56 yards and a TD as well.

Pacey McBride, who set up a touchdown with a 47-yard reception, also ran for 56 yards and a TD. But the 5-foot-8, 130-pounder continues getting it done on defense, too.

He is second in tackles (41) to teammate Matthew Carter's team-high 48 stops.

Waldron

Sophomore quarterback Braden Williams has been a bright spot for the 1-4 Bulldogs this season. But Williams and the Bulldog struggled during a 35-0 loss to 5-0 Dardanelle last week.

Waldron (1-4, 0-2) hopes to bounce back against Pottsville on Friday.

Coach Jonathan Bates' squad was held to 143 yards of offense in last week's loss.

Clarksville

Cole Clark amassed a career-high 58 yards rushing in last week's 42-7 loss to top-ranked Harrison.

The loss dropped the Panthers to 0-2 in the 5A-West. Clarksville faces Huntsville on Friday.