LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) - Over the past 17 years, there has been countless outstanding players in the state of Arkansas at the high school level but only 17 could call themselves the best.
Greenwood's Connor Noland added his name to that list as he was voted the Landers Award winner as the state's top prep football player. The senior quarterback guided the Bulldogs to a perfect 13-0 season and a 6A state championship.
"I was very surprised actually," Noland said. "There's some great competition out there. Obviously Layne (Hatcher), Mason (Schucker), all the guys. It's a great group and definitely be named with those guys, it's a great honor."
Noland threw for more than 2,800 yards and 34 touchdowns for Greenwood while rushing for just less than 300 yards with five more scores. Noland has signed to play both football and baseball at Arkansas.
"I'm really excited for him," Greenwood coach Rick Jones said. "That's some tough competition. I told him you won over some tough, tough guys. I watched their film and I've watched some of the highlights and that's a very impressive group of young me. I proud of Connor and of course I thought he should have won all along."
Greenwood is the first school to have three winners in the 17-year history of the award. Tyler Wilson was the first Bulldog to win the honor in 2007 then Drew Morgan took home the hardware in 2012. Both of the previous winners played at Arkansas. Both Fayetteville (Brandon Allen, Taylor Powell) and Pulaski Academy have had two winners each.
In all, there were 10 finalists from across the state. Layne Hatcher (Pulaski Academy), Treylon Burks (Warren), Michael George (Conway), Mason Schucker (Searcy), Gerry Bohannon (Earle), Bennie Kemp (Little Rock McClellan), Samy Johnson (Little Rock Catholic), Caezar Warren (Pulaski Robinson) and Ta'Von Hicks (Wynne).
The award is voted on by a panel of media members and contributors of high school football in the state of Arkansas including 5NEWS Sports Director Bobby Swofford.
Fayetteville's Taylor Powell won the award in following the 2016 season.