5NEWS and the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club are launching a brand new high school football awards banquet called “Friday Night All-Stars.” The event will be held on Jan. 18 with Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema as the guest speaker. A special television broadcast of the event can be seen on Channel 5 Saturday, Jan. 25 at 11:30 a.m.
Here are the nominees for linebacker of the year:
1. Zack Wary, Rogers
2. Alex Burris, Alma
3. Nick Fernandez, Bentonville
Bentonville’s Nick Fernandez led the Tigers’ stout front seven as he recorded 122 tackles and led his team to the 7A state title.
“The past two years, coming up short in the state championship game,” Fernandez said. “Senior year doing it right. Its all I could ask for.”
Fernandez also had a pair of interceptions and a recovered fumble during his senior season.
Rogers’ Zack Wary missed four games due to an ankle injury but was still one of the most dominant linebackers in the 7A/6A-West. Wary averaged just less than 10 tackles a game and was four seconds away from leading the Mounties to a 7A playoff win.
“Just to be along side the other great players in the conference, its very exciting,” Wary said. “I’ve worked hard and its good to know that people appreciate it.”
Wary has several division-I offers.
Alma’s Alex Burris was the anchor for the Airedales defense. The senior recorded 122 tackles, 79 being solo stops. Burris also added three interceptions as he led Alma to the 5A semifinals.
“We prided ourselves, we wanted to be more physical than the other team,” Burris said. “We used every practice as a chance to get more physical everyday.”
Burris also had two and a half sacks and recovered a fumble in the playoff win against Beebe.