By the time the school year was over, Larkins was recognized as the best athlete in Northeast Tennessee.
The David Crockett junior was chosen Saturday as the Johnson City Press/Times News Male Athlete of the Year.
Elizabethton three-sport star Evan Perkins was also considered for the honor.
It all started during football season. Larkins was a key part of the Pioneers’ rise to statewide recognition. With Larkins turning in big passing efforts each week, Crockett won its first 12 games before a tough loss in the TSSAA Class 5A quarterfinals to eventual state champion Knox Central.
By season’s end, Larkins was Northeast Tennessee’s all-time single-season leader in yards passing (3,979) and touchdowns (42). He completed 222 of 376 passes.
His career marks are equally astounding with 8,398 yards passing and 71 touchdowns. He can become the state’s all-time leading passer if he adds 2,724 to his total during his senior season.
Last season, Larkins was chosen as a Class 5A Mr. Football semifinalist. He then took the next step and was one of three players chosen as a finalist.
His coach, Hayden Chandley, said Larkins earned the statewide notoriety.
“No one deserves that honor more than Cade,” Chandley said to the Press and Times News in November. “He works extremely hard on his craft, day in, day out. He not only impresses on the field, but in the classroom as well where he carries a 4.05 GPA.
“We’re very proud of him and what he’s accomplished and how he’s represented our school.”
Football wasn’t the only show in town for Larkins. He put on his cleats and baseball cap and put together a standout baseball season — good enough to earn a spot on the recently announced Super 22 team.
Larkins batted .455 while totaling seven doubles and four home runs. He drove in 25 runs and scored 28.
With another year to go, Larkins has a chance to add to his already impressive resume.