2016 Defensive Player of the Year: Mike Harris, Lovejoy By Luke Strickland


LOVEJOY — Junior linebacker Mike Harris was all over the field this season for the Lovejoy Wildcats, and has been named 2016 Defensive Player of the Year by the Clayton News for his stellar play.

Harris recorded a whopping 122 tackles this season, including 12 tackles for a loss. He was also able to cover opposing players in the passing game, breaking up five passes for the Wildcats.

Led by Harris, Lovejoy improved defensively as the season wore on. The Wildcats allowed no more than 14 points in four of their last five games. Harris was named Defensive Player of the Year in Region 4-6A for his efforts.

Others Considered: Dante Walker, Riverdale; Deon Andrews, Riverdale; Tyree Leonard, Mount Zion

The Clayton News sat down with Harris to discuss what he accomplished this season.

Clayton News: What are your thoughts on your season individually?

Mike Harris: Individually, I feel like I played great through the conditions I was in. I wasn’t 100 percent healthy throughout the whole year, but with my team behind me, I knew I would be straight.

CN: What are your thoughts on what Lovejoy accomplished as a team this season?

MH: As a team, we didn’t finish. I think if we all know what was working this season, other players would have stepped up and showed out for the team rather than relying on certain players.

CN: What was your favorite moment from the season?

MH: My favorite moment of the season was playing against other players I grew up with and played with. My favorite game was the Stephenson game because I didn’t start, but I came out on the field with a bunch of energy and played great.

CN: Why do you think you had so much success this season?

MH: I believe all the success came from my family who support my goal I’m trying to reach.

CN: What is next for you?

MH: There is more to come ahead. This spring I’m going to work and push as hard as ever for next season.