During the 2013 Landers Award banquet Monday night, a Carlisle football player received one of the most prestigious awards in the state.
Senior Bo Weddle was named the Paul Eells Award winner for his work on and off the field. The award, which is given by KATV-Channel 7, is named after the longtime sports anchor and voice of the Razorbacks who died in a car accident July 31, 2006.
“Paul was a hall of fame sportscaster. All you had to hear was ‘Touchdown Arkansas’ and he could raise the spirits of the entire state,” KATV sports director Steve Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Eells enjoyed the Landers Award night.
“He loved visiting with each athlete before the show and visiting with their families,” Sullivan said. “Each day, he gave a daily lesson on how to treat people. This is a me-first business and with Paul, it was all about the other guy.
“Each year, we pick one special player. This player [Weddle] demonstrated qualities that remind us of Paul. A special talent who had that every guy attitude.”
The story about Weddle talked about how hard he works in the classroom and on the football field. He currently has a 4.0 grade point average and Weddle said he works hard to be a role model for the younger kids in the Carlisle School District. Each Friday night, there are several youth wearing No. 8 jerseys for Weddle.
“It’s a great honor to receive this award,” Weddle said. “Paul Eells was a great man. I don’t really remember him a whole lot. Everybody always talks about his famous call ‘Touchdown Arkansas!’”
Weddle, who rushed for 1,258 yards and 23 touchdowns while the Bison went 12-2, is looking at several NCAA Division II schools in Arkansas.
“This weekend, I’ll take an official visit to Harding University,” said Weddle, who will also take visits to Arkansas Tech and Henderson State.
“I’ll make my decision then,” Weddle said.
Zach Launius of Cabot received the Landers Award as the top player in the state in 2013. He led the Panthers to the state championship game while rushing for more than 2,000 yards.