Harris got a measure of revenge when he edged Barksdale for player of the year honors on the The Associated Press’ All-Group A football team, chosen by a panel of sports writers.
The 183-pound Floyd County senior also was chosen as the first-team quarterback while Barksdale, a converted wide receiver, was named the team’s utility player and another quarterback, Donzell Shearin, who led Franklin to the Division 1 title, made the team in the secondary.
Harris completed 166 of 209 passes for 2,291 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 1,084 yards and 20 touchdowns. He edged Barksdale for player honors mainly because he also played full time on defense.
The numbers for Barksdale, pressed into quarterback service when 2007 player of the year Nick Miller suffered a season-ending injury a week before the season opened, were equally impressive. He was 93-of-203 for 1,958 yards passing and 25 touchdowns and had 1,930 rushing yards and 32 TDs.
Shearin threw for 840 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 645 yards, but he was a defensive standout with 15 pass interceptions, including two in Franklin’s 28-20 state title victory over Clintwood.
Franklin’s Darren Parker was named coach of the year. In five seasons, he has a 50-11 record and won state championships in 2004 and 2008.
The running backs are Pickle Nuckols, a repeater from last year; Ernest Crockett of Sussex Central, a 2006 second-team choice who was out of football last year; and Jaycob Coleman of J.I. Burton, who edged Clintwood’s Chris Robinson for the third spot.
Nuckols, who led Buffalo Gap to an 11-1 season, had 1,852 yards and 31 touchdowns on 237 carries. Crockett had 152 carries for 1,459 yards and 22 touchdowns.
In leading J.I. Burton to a 10-2 record, Coleman averaged better than 15 yards per carry for his 1,600-plus yards. He also had 12 receptions for 420 yards and six touchdowns and had a 92-yard kickoff return and 60-yard punt return.
The wide receivers are William Campbell’s Stanley Peerman, another repeater with 38 catches for 636 yards and 10 scores, and Floyd County’s Brett Holman with 60 catches for 861 yards and 11 touchdowns. Tight end Brandon Livingstone of Manassas Park had 40 catches for 462 yards and eight scores.
Making up the offensive line are tackles Daquan Frazier of Franklin and Mike Barbour of William Campbell, center Brian Freed of Riverheads, and two junior guards, Anthony Nelson of Essex and Greg Ray of Giles.
The placekicker is Jim King of Bath County, who hit 10 of 12 field goal tries — including four in one game. The return specialist is Gate City quarterback Tihlee Anderson, who had a 95-yard kickoff return and punt return TDs of 56 and 46 yards, plus a 70-yarder wiped out by a penalty.
On the defensive line are Russell Hull of Clintwood, a 2007 All-Group A choice at offensive tackle, Thomas Wright of William Campbell, Bennett Fulper of Gretna and Daniel McClanahan of Lebanon. Hull’s resumé included 46 tackles, with 14 for a loss and three sacks.
The linebackers are seniors Alex Russell of Chilhowie, Brian Sowers of Radford, Alec Osborne of Clintwood and junior Chuck Samuel of Essex, whose only loss was 45-40 to Gretna in the state semifinals.
Russell was in on 156 tackles with 13 for a loss, Sowers had 61 solo and 77 assists, Osborne had 24 tackles for loss and nine sacks among his 112 tackles, and Samuel totaled 71 tackles and an interception.
Shearin is joined in the secondary by repeater Michael Johnson of Buffalo Gap, Jordan Bates of J.J. Kelly and Dustin Jones of Gate City.
Sophomore Holbert Newberry of Haysi was chosen as the punter with a 44.1-yard average on 19 kicks.