High School Football

Rock Hill miiddle school football player earns MVP honors at Carolina Bowl

Saluda Trail Middle Schooler D.J. Barksdale had an MVP performance in Saturday’s Carolina Bowl in Chapel Hill.
Saluda Trail Middle Schooler D.J. Barksdale had an MVP performance in Saturday’s Carolina Bowl in Chapel Hill.

The Carolina Bowl had a distinct Rock Hill influence.

The relatively new all-star game, an offshoot of the Shrine Bowl for middle school-aged football players, took place at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium Saturday, Dec. 16. There were different games for sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

South Pointe coach Strait Herron guided the South Carolina eighth grade all-stars to a 20-14 win against their North Carolina counterparts. And York Prep seventh grader D.J. Barksdale, who plays at Saluda Trail Middle School because York Prep doesn't have football, earned defensive MVP of the game, making an interception and forcing a fumble. He also made eight tackles and had two kickoffs for over 70 total yards.

Barksdale has one more football game to play this season. He’ll represent USA Football’s 14 and 15-and under national team when it faces a team of international all-stars on Jan. 17 in the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.

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