NORMAN — When his senior season began, Derek Harris had all eyes on him. He was the starting quarterback for a Moore team trying to slowly turn around a program that had floundered.
However, after getting injured in the first game of the season against Westmoore, Harris lost his starting job. Instead of sulking and complaining about no longer being quarterback, he looked for other ways to help the Lions.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Harris said. “I’ve always played other positions besides quarterback. When I didn’t play at quarterback, it opened up more options for me on special teams and defense and offense. I enjoy playing defense. I’ve always been a defensive player. I enjoyed played defense more than I enjoyed playing offense. But playing quarterback I felt was the best place for me on the team at the time. But then when I wasn’t playing quarterback, I got to play special teams and defense again.”
Harris became one of the Lions’ top receivers and a special teams maven. But it was on defense at safety were he made the biggest difference. In doing so, Harris was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association West All-State football team.
“I was happy I made it,” Harris said. “It really was a surprise. I had like an idea that I might make it, but I didn’t know I was going to. I felt I had a pretty strong year. The best year out of my years at Moore.”
Harris will join some of the best players around the state in the annual All-State game July 27 at Union Tuttle Stadium. It’s something he never thought he would get the chance to play in until last season.
“Last year my step brother (Austin Bowling) made all-state from Westmoore,” Harris said. “I went and watched him in it last year. He told how much of a big deal it was. For me to make it is pretty cool.”