All the way up to Football Friday Night, the 5NEWS Sports crew is going to be breaking down our top local players to watch at every position. This week, it's the linebackers, presented in alphabetical order:
Coltin Bowerman, Alma
The all-state safety made 135 tackles and three interceptions a season ago, and the aggressive player already has offers from most in-state Division II schools. No doubt more will come after his senior season.
Mason Keener, Charleston
Two-time all-league strong safety Mason Keener leads the defense for powerhouse Charleston. He stacked up 64 tackles and intercepted four passes - two which were returned for touchdowns. Keener is a key to Charleston holding opponents to just 16.1 points per game since 2013.
Aaron Ohl, Greenwood
Aaron Ohl refuses to be quiet on the Greenwood defense - intercepting a team best seven passes last year and tallying 70 tackles, giving him all-league honors. With recklessness and aggression like Ohl's, it's hard to be overlooked.
Ben Pankau, Bentonville
The only junior on the list is Bentonville's Ben Pankau, who was named the 7A-West Defensive Newcomer of the Year after recording 84 tackles and three interceptions. He lead the secondary as a sophomore, and with two more seasons left in him, it'll surely only go up from here.
Carson Rhine, Pea Ridge
The senior safety had seven interceptions and 91 stops last season. Pea Ridge is known for having difficult schemes, so being able to move around is always a plus - and Rhine seems to do just that.
Thomas Bourgeois, Subiaco Academy
Jaicy Griffin, Mansfield
Cooper Shipman, Hackett
Greg Washington, Northside
Bennett Weindel, Southside