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Sports

Suburban Life Most Valuable Athlete: CJ Harris, Willowbrook, senior, football

WHY HE WAS SELECTED:

CJ Harris scored one touchdown on a reception and another on a fumble recovery in the end zone and had the game-clinching interception in Willowbrook's second-round playoff win over Maine West.

Harris talked to Suburban Life sports editor Joshua Welge about his big game, Willowbrook's season and his team's next game. Here is an edited version of the transcript:

Welge: Your football team is 11-0 for the first time since 1975. That''s crazy! What do you think when you hear it?

Harris: To be honest, it's just a great feeling. We knew we were capable of accomplishing that. We put in the hard work all summer. We get the job done every night, and we are looking forward to better things in the future. We do what we're supposed to, we fly to the ball, we run our plays efficiently. We don't leave the field without a fight.

Welge: What happened on that play where you scored on a fumble recovery?

Harris: Scott [Tumilty] had a good run. I saw a defender try to swipe at the ball and knock it out of Scott's hands. I was trailing the play, I saw the ball in the air, I was just being aware of the situation and the play, being active. I caught it and dove into the end zone. That was just me keeping my eye on the ball and being active.

Welge: You had a bigger role in the game, right?

Harris: Coach told me when we found out that we'd be without two of my teammates, one is a wideout, so I had to learn a new position. Usually I play slot receiver or wing [in addition to cornerback] and last week I was playing wideout 101. It was more verticals, posts, comebacks, a lot of digs. I knew I had to step up and do something as a senior and as a leader.

Welge: What do you think about this week's game with Batavia?

Harris: We need to play our keys right, trust our brothers and compete all game long. We have to punch them in the mouth first. I feel like if we put in the time, play our best football, we will come out with a win.

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