Matt O'Bar Follows Father Joe's All Star Footsteps


Booneville School District | 6/18/2024

PHOTO CREDIT: Stacy Holbert

Matt O’Bar will etch his name in Bearcat lore Saturday night at 6 p.m. when he takes part in the 69th annual Arkansas High School Coaches Association all star football game.

O’Bar and his father, Joe O’Bar, will be the first father and son linemen to earn invites into the game. Joe O’Bar played in the game in 1996.

“We all know about dad being so good and to be able to do the same thing he did is awesome,” said Matt O’Bar.

Although the jersey will be red in color – the West wears red and the East blue -- Matt O’Bar said he will be glad to put on a Bearcat helmet one more time.

“We ended the season with a state title but to get to (play) one more time with the best in the state is awesome,” said Matt O’Bar.

Matt O’Bar was also the Brandon Burlsworth Award winner in the Bearcats 25-22 win over Prescott in the Class 3A state championship game.

Both Joe and Matt O’Bar’s all star appearances will have occurred at Estes Field on the UCA campus.

“I loaded up and went straight to Jonesboro,” Joe O’Bar said of his experience at the game.

That was because he spent the next five seasons playing at Arkansas State.

“Matt’s going to go home to work on the farm,” Joe O’Bar said.

Before that trip home exactly where on the line O’Bar will play – he played all five spots as a three- year starter for the Bearcats – for the last time in a Bearcat helmet is a mystery for now.

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Matt O’Bar said.

“Matt is a hardworking kid that always did the right thing,” said offensive line coach Jacob Hattabaugh. “He never complained and got the job done always. He played multiple positions and was the guy that fixed everything up front. A true captain up front.”

O’Bar and his 2023 linemen teammates led the way to over 6,300 yards of offense and on defense he recorded 45 tackles with a sack.

The O’Bars are the second father-son duo to represent the Bearcats in the all star game, joining Andy (1986 game) and Anthony Napier (2012 game).

Allen Ray played in the 2000 game and sons Carson and Randon declined invitations to play in the game following their senior seasons.

There are also two sets of brothers to have played in the game in Brock (2011) and Bryson May, who was set to play in the 2015 game but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather. The other siblings are Jake (2010 game) and Marcus Nichols (2019 game).

Matt O’Bar will make his way to the University of Central Arkansas on Wednesday to start preparations for the game.