Harrell Finalist for 3A Coach of the Year Award

Thursday, December 15, 2016
Clay County was well-represented at the 2016 Farm Bureau Insurance Awards ceremony, held Monday evening in North Little Rock. Piggott Mohawk Head Football Coach Michael Harrell (front-left) was one of the three candidates for 3A coach of the year, along with finalist Greg Kendrick of Charleston (front-right) and the winner, Tommy Poole of Prescott (center). Also on hand was Clay County Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager Cliff Gifford (back-left) as this year's honors were distributed.(photo courtesy Rhonda Sharp)

Piggott Mohawk Head Football Coach Michaell Harrell was recognized at the annual Arkansas Farm Bureau Insurance Awards banquet Monday evening in North Little Rock as a finalist for 3A coach of the year. Harrell, along with the two coaches who squared-off in the state championship game last Saturday, were the finalist for the coveted award. And, it would only seem fitting that the coach who prevailed in the title game, Prescott's Tommy Poole, would take home the top honors. The other finalist was the man who coached against Poole in Saturday's title game, Greg Kendrick of Charleston. By the way, the Curly Wolves won the contest by a final of 37-26.

Each year the Farm Bureau Insurance Awards honor Arkansas' top offensive player, defensive player and coach of the year for each classification. The veteran staff at Hooten's Arkansas Football selects three finalists for each category, and those 45 finalists and their families were invited to attend the awards banquet on Monday.

"These 45 finalists represent some of the best coaches and student-athletes in our state. Farm Bureau is proud to honor excellence as the title sponsor of this outstanding event," Farm Bureau Insurance Executive Vice President and General Manager David L. Moore said.

The third year head coach of the Mohawks earned the honor by guiding the team to its best finish in modern history, and into the second round of the state 3A playoffs.

"I was really honored, it was so cool to be sitting there with these great coaches from all over the state," he recalled Tuesday. "I think I was the only guy at our table without a state championship, or at least a couple of appearances in the title game, but most of them have been coaching a lot longer."

Harrell also noted that spending time with such coaching legends, and hearing of their accomplishments, just serves to make him hungrier for more success.

"They told me, once you get that first playoff win you can't stop thinking about getting back," he offered with a smile. "Me and (assistant coach and defensive coordinator) Walter (Rau) are already trying to figure out how to get to that next level."

The finalists for both the offensive and defensive players of the year awards for 3A were also familiar, as three of the six had played against the Tribe during the recently-completed campaign. Among them, Luke Harper of Walnut Ridge was singled out and recognized as the outstanding defensive player of the year.

Among the contigent on hand from Clay County, which included Harrell and his family, was County Agency Manager Cliff Gifford.

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