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PA's Fredi Knighten Wins Landers Award
January 12, 2012By VYPE Arkansas of VYPE MAGAZINE - Arkansas
(Photo by Julia Woods) It was announced Thursday night that PA quarterback Fredi Knighten won the 2011 Landers Award, given to the state’s outstanding football player.
Pulaski Academy owns arguably the best football team and player in the state. Bruins senior quarterback Fredi Knighten cemented his place in prep football history by earning the Landers Award Thursday night. The award was given to Knighten during a 30-minute live television show on KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock.
“I am so happy for Fredi,” PA coach Kevin Kelley said. “He is an unbelievable quarterback and a terrific young man, and role model as well. He is extremely deserving of the award in every way you can think of. What a way to finish a year with an undefeated state championship and the Landers Award.”
Knighten is one of the few players who have were two-time finalists. The 5-foo11, 190-pounder with 4.5 speed distinguished him from the other 13 finalists with gaudy stats. He led the state in passing (260 for 353 for 4,559 yards) and 66 touchdowns and rushed 104 times for 837 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 6 passes for 124 yards and a score.
He led PA to an undefeated state championship (the first in school history) and was the MVP of the state title game. PA finished No. 1 Overall in two statewide polls.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Knighten said. “This is like the Heisman Trophy of Arkansas, so it is a great honor. It’s a great privilege, but I owe it to my teammates, coaches, family and God for blessing me with so many tings I can’t even name all of them. I just want to thank all of the people that have been there for me.”
Kelley said Knighten, who is also a standout student, is “not only a great player but a great human being.”
“I’m ecstatic. I’m so proud of Fredi,” said Knighten’s mom Daphne Gallot said. “He is a great son.”
For his efforts, Knighten earns a ring, trophy and $3,000 scholarship. The QB won’t need the scholarship money. He is weighing offers from Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech. He visits ASU this weekend and will make a decision soon after.
Little Rock car dealer Steve Landers sponsors the event, and KATV Sports Director Steve Sullivan orchestrates it by choosing a finalist each week during the football season. The winner is determined in part by a fan vote and panel of media members, which included VYPE Publisher Nate Olson.
Justin Hall, of Warren, won the Paul Eells. The honor is given to a football player each year that embodies the spirit of the late broadcaster who was the Channel 7 Sports Director and “Voice of the Razorbacks.” Hall plays four sports and is the schools valedictorian.
2011 Landers Award Finalists
Neal Burcham, Greenbrier
Zach Conque, Catholic
Kaylon Cooper, North Little Rock
Kenneth Dixon, Strong
Dallas Hardison, Bentonville
Hunter Henry, Pulaski Academy
Ajalen Holley, Lakeside
Shaquille Jones, Northside
Derek Keaton, Camden Fairview
Fredi Knighten, Pulaski Academy
Levi Runyan, Lake Hamilton
Jeremy Sprinkle, White Hall
Dezmond Stegall, Searcy
Dillon Winfrey, Bryant
Landers Award Winners