BEAUMONT, Texas — The 27th Annual Willie Ray Smith Awards had it all. A packed house, inspiring speeches and of course great local athletes.
Newton's Darwin Barlow was a heavy favorite on the offensive side in a field that included PNG's Roschon Johnson, West Brook's Robert McGrue and Evadale's Will Farr.
Barlow, a TCU signee, would win the award after finishing his senior season with 2,366 yards rushing and 43 touchdowns on the way to winning his second straight Class 3A Division II state title.
While Barlow's win was expected, things were wide open on defense. The finalists featured Newton's Jadrian McGraw, West Orange-Stark's Teshaun Teel, Hamshire-Fannett's Blaine Waggoner and West Brook's Darrell Hawkins.
The Bruin free safety heard his name called after an amazing senior campaign that included 142 tackles, including 62 solos.