In Class 4A, Greeneville quarterback Cade Ballard repeated as the Mr. Football winner. Ballard, a 5-foot-9 senior who hasn’t thrown an interception in 13 games this season, has led the Greene Devils back to the state championship game. Bobo Hodges, a quarterback at Maplewood and the younger brother of East Tennessee State basketball player Bo Hodges, was also among the Class 4A finalists.
Other winners in the public schools categories were Cane Ridge’s Devon Starling (6A), Alcoa’s Walker Russell (3A), Meigs County’s Aaron Swafford (2A) and Greenback’s Bryce Hanley (1A). The kicker of the year, which encompasses all classes, was Garrett Taylor of Oakland.
Larkins, the Johnson City Press/Kingsport Times News Elite 11 Player of the Year, completed 222 of 376 passes for 3,979 yards and 42 touchdowns this season. The 6-4 junior led the Pioneers to their first undefeated regular season, the program’s first two playoff victories and a school-record 12 wins in a season.
A committee of statewide sports writers selected winners based on performance during the 2018 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration. High school head coaches and members of the media nominated the finalists.