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Player of the Week: Johnson's Cedric Harris

POSTED: November 12, 2012 8:36 p.m.

For Johnson’s Cedric Harris, everything starts with leadership and drive. According to Knights coach Jason Roquemore, Harris had the drive that was contagious for all of the Knights’ players this season, leading them to their first winning season since 2004 with a 40-21 win over Heritage-Catoosa last Friday night.

“Once we got him out and we saw his leadership capabilities, we knew we had a special one among us,” said Roquemore, who took over as head coach during the summer.

In the last game of his high-school career, Harris led the team on the field and on the stat sheet with 259 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

For his efforts, Harris has been named The Times Player of the Week.

Harris said that in the game against Heritage, he “felt responsible” for the game because he and the rest of the seniors wanted to “leave behind a legacy.” By getting Johnson (6-4) to a winning season, they did just that.

As a football player, Harris has two sides — the side that will reach out to any teammate and offer a helping hand, said Roquemore, and the side that runs the ball and hits his opponents “very violently.”

“Defensively, he’s got a nose for the football. He has a very high football IQ,” Roquemore said.

“For me, it’s ‘hit ‘em so hard they won’t want to challenge me again,’” Harris said. “Making them quit is my mindset.”

He admits, however, that coming out strong in the final game of the season was difficult after losing the previous game and having a week off, but the Knights were able to come together quickly Friday.

“Our offense started playing at a faster pace that our opponent couldn’t keep up with,” Harris said.

Roquemore believes the offense continued to get better because after Harris “bought in” to the new schemes at the beginning of the season, the rest of the team began to follow.

“It started with guys like Cedric buying in and the others seeing that,” Roquemore said. “They know how successful he is, but they also see how hard he works.”

Throughout the season, Harris worked to improve, becoming better in many positions, said Roquemore.

“I think he can play three or four different spots,” he said, “I think his tracks became a lot better, and he got more comfortable with what we asked him to do. He doesn’t take days off. If you look at his film, some of his most impressive plays are just him punishing the defender.”

But Roquemore believes that Harris’ leadership and work ethic are more important than his play on the field, and that he was not a “camper” who was content with the spot he was at, according to Roquemore’s “camper or climber” mentality.

“I’ll always remember Cedric Harris as being a climber,” Roquemore said. “We’re really going to miss him.”


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