Harris makes history in Flashes’ win

Published 9:19 am Monday, October 26, 2015

In addition to the St. Aloysius Flashes winning the District 3-AAA championship against Riverfield Academy on Friday night, history was made on their field as well.

DeMichael Harris became the 10th person in the history of Warren County high school football to rush for 3,000 yards in his career. He only needed 138 yards for the milestone and nearly doubled the requirement in the 40-39 win over the Raiders.

“It feels great. I’m honored to be with all the other great names in the county,” Harris said.

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Harris accomplished the impressive feat by racking up 235 rushing yards with four touchdowns. After being sidelined for more than a month with an ankle injury suffered in the second game of the season, Harris returned to the field against Greenville-St. Joseph in early October and exploded for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Since then he has three consecutive games with more than 200 rushing yards.

Harris also managed to become the team’s leading rusher and scorer with 878 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the games against Manchester and Central Hinds, he averaged 15 and 22 yards per carry, respectively.

While he likely won’t reach his 2,000 yard mark from last season, when he was The Vicksburg Post’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year, he is still proud of the accomplishment.

Harris is in his second season as a running back after playing receiver as a freshman and sophomore. He has 3,097 career rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns. He’s the first player to reach the 3,000-yard mark since Warren Central’s Brian Darden from 1991-94.

St. Al’s school record for career rushing yardage is 4,052, set by Mike Ray from 1976-78. Harris is unlikely to reach that mark, but could break the school record of 45 rushing touchdowns set by Stacy Williams from 1993-95. Darden holds the county record with 74.

“I’ve worked hard starting last year and got it going,” Harris said while thanking his offensive line for blocking and creating gaps for him to run through. “I think I have the best offensive line in the MAIS, the state for that fact.”

Harris reflected on his tenure at St. Al and said the team wasn’t that good his freshman year but the following season they made the playoffs and advanced to the MHSAA Class 1A semifinals. Since then he’s played and worked hard with coach BJ Smithhart to instill the notion of them being able to beat anybody. Over the last four years Harris feels like he’s matured, evolved into his body and gotten faster, proven by his 4.37-second 40-yard dash time.

As a player, Smithhart said Harris is really special.

“That’s all you can really say,” Smithhart said. “If we give him a crease he can take it from anywhere and he’s proven that night in and night out. He’s definitely a difference maker, a great player and even a better kid. Somebody everybody truly roots for and a good leader.”

Off the field, Harris is a model student.

“Honor roll, great ACT qualifier and very respectful,” Smithhart said. “You ask any of his teachers he’s probably their favorite student because of the demeanor and maturity that he has and the way he acts.”

Up next

Friday, 7 p.m.

MAIS Class AAA playoffs

Bayou Academy at St. Aloysius

Radio: 101.3 FM

Online: For live scoring updates of Warren County high school football games on Friday night, visit Facebook.com/thevicksburgpost or Twitter.com/vicksburgpost