The ArkansasVarsity.com Mr. Football Award is an honor given to the top high school football player in the state as voted on by members of ArkansasVarsity.com and the Rivals.com network. This is the first year of the award, and one that we hope to continue handing out in the years to come.
There are times while covering the sport of football, that you find a team of players that is loaded with talent, but instead of the players being about themselves, they are about the team. They work together as a team, they put aside personal goals in order to achieve team goals, and in the end, their hard work pays off.
This very thing was found in this year's Monticello Billies football team, a team loaded with Division one prospects, who pulled together as a team, in order to accomplish one goal. That goal, was to win the Class 5A State Championship, and on Friday night, they completed that goal by not only winning the Championship, but also finishing the season undefeated.
Though football is a team sport, there are times an individual stands out throughout the year, and that was the case with the First Annual ArkansasVarsity.com Mr. Football Award winner, Monticello (Ark) athlete Brishen Mathews.
Mathews is a young man who comes from a strong football background. His father, Gwaine Mathews, is the head football coach of the Divison Two Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils, so Brishen's football knowledge on and off of the field come natural.
Mathews was instrumental in helping lead his team to an undefeated season, and a State Championship, a game he won the MVP award in after finishing the night with 12 carries for 170 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 14.2 yards per carry, with a long of 57 yards. He also caught two passes for 25 yards, with a long of 17 yards. Defensively, he had 5 tackles, include one tackle for a loss.
We caught up with Mathews to discuss his senior season, a little bit about recruiting, and to inform him he was named the First Annual ArkansasVarsity.com Mr. Football Award winner.
"This was really a great year for us." said Mathews. "To be truthful, everything started last year. We lost to West Helena by one point, and that was a wake up call for us. We all decided to work hard, especially the seniors. We would have 6AM workouts before school on Monday's, Wednesday's, and Friday's during the off-season, and not a single senior missed a workout. That was very instrumental in helping us win it all this year."
Mathews also spoke about what it was like to win the State Championship.
"Man, it was cold that night!" said Mathews. "I can remember before the game when they took the team photos, it was so cold that the rafters were shaking. Once we got to kickoff though, we just took care of business. We worked the jitters out, and we was nervous, but we worked that out, and went on to win the game."
Mathews spoke a bit about the things he is doing to prepare himself for the next level as well.
"I've been going out to work out at UAM with my dad." said Mathews. "They are preparing for spring football, so I've been going out and lifting weights with them. I've been doing some drills and working on fundamentals to make sure I am on top of my game. I may be getting some early playing time next year, so I want to make sure I am at the top of my game when I step on campus."
He is also looking forward to signing with the Ole Miss Rebels on signing day.
"Ole Miss is the place for me." said Mathews. "There are so many things I like about the place. Coach Nutt and Coach Shibest are great, and really make me feel at home and feel welcome. I mean, anytime I have talked with either one of them, they have been great. It didn't matter if I called them a lot just to ask a crazy question, they always answered it and made me feel comfortable."
We would like to congratulate Brishen on winning the First Annual ArkansasVarsity.com Mr. Football Award! Keep checking back with ArkansasVarsity.com for all of your Arkansas Prep Sports and Recruiting News!