Sully Says: Landers Award Night
Tonight is Landers Award night.
The show, which airs live on KATV, will run commercial-free from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. For me, it's the fastest 30 minutes of the year.
The goal is to make this a good night for all 10 finalists.
It's impossible to identify the 10 best high school players in the state, but I do feel like we are honoring some very deserving young men.
Our finalists are state champions and record breakers. They come from all over the state, representing several different high school classifications from Class 2A to 7A.
The list includes five quarterbacks: Mason Schucker from Searcy, Layne Hatcher of Pulaski Academy, Bennie Kemp played for McClellan, Greenwood's Connor Noland and Gerry Bohanon of Earle. Four running backs: Samy Johnson from Little Rock Catholic, Caezar Warren of Robinson, Michael George from Conway and Wynne's Ta'von Hicks. Our 10th finalist, Treylon Burks of Warren, played all over the field for Bo Hembree's Lumberjacks.
Aaron Griffin of North Little Rock will receive an award which is very special to all of us at KATV. Aaron is our Paul Eells Award winner.
My hope is that the finalists and their families take lots of pictures and make this a night to remember. The KATV studio is a great venue for pictures.
My least favorite part of the night is announcing the winner.
I select the weekly honorees, but a panel of 12 media members picked our Landers Player of the Year. The judges ranked the player from 1-10. Those ballots were sent to Debby Hook at KATV, who then passed them along to our accountant, Brent Sharpmack from Hudson- Cisne.
There have been years where we have had a slam-dunk winner. I think Darren McFadden and Peyton Hillis may have been unanimous winners.
That's not the case this year. I've been told that it was a very close vote.
The winner will join a very special fraternity of Landers Award Players of the Year. The player will receive the Landers Award Trophy and the Landers Award ring provided by Jostens. A $3,000 scholarship will be presented to the winner's school.
Big thanks to "Big" Steve Landers and KATV for making this night possible for the last 18 years!