WHO MADE THE LIST?
The sports staff of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and consultation with area coaches selected the top 11 players in the 12-county region in the newspaper’s coverage area.
The List is loaded with an abundance of talented players, many on the radar of college coaches. The players selected for The List were not chosen by position, but simply the top 11 players regardless of where they line up on the field.
Linebackers Andrew Bartgis of Bentonville High and Tristin Brewer of Pea Ridge are dominating defenders with high character and with even higher motors who their teammates look to for leadership.
THE NUMBERS Brewer has been in the middle of the Blackhawks’ defense for two seasons, helping the team win 25 games and make a state finals appearance in 2016 and a semifinal run last season. The senior recorded 157 tackles last season to earn all-state and All-NWADG honors. Included in the 157 stops were five sacks.
HE SAID IT “This year the defense will lead the team. A lot of people expect us to have a good defense and think we’ll have a weak offense, but we’re going to surprise people with how good our offense will be. I think we’re going to be able to put some points on the board.”
— Chip Souza @NWAChip
Andrew Bartgis -- Bentonville High
Darius Bowers -- Fayetteville
Tristin Brewer -- Pea Ridge
Darin Davenport -- FS Southside
Taye Gatewood -- FS Southside
Peyton Holt -- Greenwood
Gabe Huskey -- Harrison
Jadon Jackson -- Bentonville West
Will Jarrett -- Bentonville West
Brandon Ulmer -- Booneville
Stevie Young -- FS Northside