Photo (top left to right): Sheffield, Henderson, Harris-Lusk
BY CORY WOODROOF
Three standout football players from the area walked away with hardware for their 2018 performances Sunday night at the TSSAA’s Mr. Football ceremony at Nissan Stadium.
A crowd of more than 400 football players, coaches, families, friends and press convened at the NFL complex to recognize the three finalists in each state classification, with one being elevated to Mr. Football status.
Titans announcer Mike Keith and Independence High school vice principal and former Titans great Kevin Dyson were on hand to deliver the awards to the football players being honored.
“This is such an outstanding honor for all 30 of the young men recognized today at the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards,” said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA, about the event.
“They were here not only due to their athletic ability that they displayed on the field throughout the season, but just as much for their outstanding character and academic achievements.”
The Williamson County area saw three athletes, Independence’s T.J. Sheffield, CPA’s Noah Henderson and Fairview’s Kam Harris-Lusk. None of the young men were eventual winners, but each received a plaque for their finalist status.
“It’s an honor; not many people get to get this opportunity,” Sheffield, a Purdue commit, said about being recognized. “I feel like my team, and my coaches, and the staff helped to get me where I am. A great way to end my senior year.”
Sheffield represented the three finalists for 6A, where Cane Ridge standout Devon Starling eventually was named Mr. Football. Harris-Lusk was part of the 3A group (eventual winner, Walker Russell, Alcoa) and Henderson was in the D-II Class AA group (where Lausanne star and four-star recruit Eric Gray won his third Mr. Football honor).
“I’m definitely very, very honored to be in the position that I’m in,” Henderson said of the night. “Obviously, I wouldn’t be here without my coaches, without the players, without the teammates I have…nothing happens without everyone working together. So I’m just very blessed to be on such a great team.”
Page’s Michael Burdick (5A), FRA’s Tymon Mitchell (D-II AA) and CPA’s Kane Patterson (D-II AA) were recognized by name during the ceremony by Keith for being semifinalists for Mr. Football.
Below is a list of the full slate of winners from each class, courtesy of the TSSAA.
Division I, Class 1A
Bryce Hanley, Greenback
Division I, Class 2A
Aaron Swafford, Meigs County
Division I, Class 3A
Walker Russell, Alcoa
Division I, Class 4A
Cade Ballard, Greeneville
Division I, Class 5A
Deshawn Page, Fulton
Division I, Class 6A
Devon Starling, Cane Ridge
Division II, Class A
Stone Norton, Davidson Academy
Division II, Class AA
Eric Gray, Lausanne
Division II, Class AAA
Maurice Hampton, MUS
KICKER OF THE YEAR
Garrett Taylor, Oakland