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 special teams player of the year:
1. Bennett Moehring, Bentonville
2. Kevin Jones, Greenwood
3. Matthew Berry, Booneville
Bentonville’s Bennett Moehring connected on 13-of-17 field goal attempts this season but none were more important, or as impressive, as the two he hit in the 7A state championship game despite horrible conditions.
“Being in the state championship was awesome,” Moehring said. “Really nerve racking kicking two field goals. Just a completely different atmosphere than a regular season game.”
Moehring added 51 extra points and had a long of 47 yards in the 2013 season.
Greenwood’s Kevin Jones got to live a kicker’s dream. Then he got to do it all over again the following week.
Jones booted game winning field goals in the final seconds in back-to-back weeks as he helped kick the Bulldogs past Southside and Conway.
“When I’m out there kicking field goals at age six, I’m thinking maybe in high school one day I’ll get to kick a game winning kick for a big game yet it happens two games in a row,” Jones said. “It’s just amazing how awesome that can be.”
Jones added 63 extra points and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Little Rock Fair in the 6A playoffs.
Matthew Berry added another weapon to go along with a power running game for the Booneville Bearcats.
Berry returned a pair of kickoffs for scores, including the opening kick off against Subiaco. Berry returned the kick 91 yards for the score.
“We made history in our town. First team to ever go 15-0,” Berry said. “It sounds amazing. It sounds great.”
Berry also picked off a pair of passes in the 4A state championship to secure a 14-12 win against Warren.