All-5NEWS Team: Large School Defense
The first ALL-5NEWS High School Football Team is being reveal with four different categories; 7A/6A/5A Offense, 7A/6A/5A Defense, 4A/3A/2A Offense, 4A/3A/2A Defense.
Here is the All-5NEWS 7A/6A/5A Defensive Team:
Player of the Year: Garrett Kaufman, Bentonville – Kaufman anchored the Tigers defense that held opponents to just 9.1 points per game. Named to the 7A all-state team as well as the all 7A-West team.
Justin Fair- Bentonville - Fair didn’t receive many headlines but cleared the way for a pair of Tigers’ linebackers and a safety to be named to the all-state team.
Luis Gutierrez- Siloam Springs - Led the Panthers through a brutal schedule after making move to 7A/6A-West.
Josh Frazier- Har-Ber - Dominated in the middle, making Wildcats defense one of the best in 7A/6A-West.
Harrison Newton- Alma
Brooks Ellis – Fayetteville – Ellis one of two Bulldog defenders named to the all-state team. Committed to the Razorbacks and was anchor of defensive unit.
Payton Squires – Har-Ber - Also an all-state selection and had to shoulder the load in a run heavy conference.
David Price – Southside – Was the workhorse on both sides of the football for Rebels. Was the target whether at linebacker or running back but main reason Southside was within seven points of a state championship game berth.
Clay Patrick – Springdale - Like Squires, Patrick faced an onslaught of offensive attacks but kept the Bulldogs strong up the middle of the defense.
Nate Gneiting – Bentonville – The Tigers’ defensive front gathered much of the accolades but the all-state player made yards through the air hard to come by.
Alex Brignoni – Fayetteville - Like Ellis, Brignoni is committed to the Razorbacks and shattered school records in the process. He broke the school’s career interception record during his junior season and was still a force despite being hampered by injury most of the season.
Clayton Pankey – Southside - Pankey anchored the Rebels defensive backfield despite not possessing great size. His interception return for a touchdown highlighted a mid-season win against Little Rock Parkview.
Ryan Starr – Fayetteville - Starr was steady for the Bulldogs all season long and his game winning kick against North Little Rock in the semifinals is the reason Fayetteville had a chance to defend its 7A crown. Also named to the all-state team.