Barr Earns All-Star, All-State Honors In Football

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Payson High School senior Mike Barr has received two of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a prep football player.

The 6-foot 7-inch, 230-pound tight end/defensive end was recently named to both the Class 4A/5A Arizona Coaches Association All-Star game and to the Class 4A All-State second team offense.

Barr was selected to participate in the ACA North vs. South All-Star game in a voting of high school head coaches.

The star game will be played this summer in Casa Grande.

Dec. 21, he was chosen to the all-state team by The Arizona Republic sports staff. The all-state teams are selected by the sports writers with input from coaches' ballots, all-region teams and statistics.

Although Barr was one of the finest football players to ever don a Longhorn uniform, his selection to the teams surprised some, mostly because he was sidelined early in the season with broken ribs suffered in an accident at Roosevelt Lake.

Traditionally, players who miss a portion of the season find it tough to earn postseason honors.

Barr is the only Payson player to be named to the star game or the all-state team.

After recovering from his injuries in mid-September, Barr returned to the team to lead the Longhorns in receiving with 23 catches for 384 yards and one touchdown.

His size and speed made him one of the best receiving threats in the Grand Canyon Region. In most games, it was increasingly evident by the defensive attention Barr was receiving that opposing coaches had spent the practice week scheming ploys to slow him down.

When he wasn't hauling in passes from quarterback Donnie Wilbanks, he was holding down a defensive line slot in the Horns' 43 defense. His versatility allowed coach Jerry Rhoades to sometimes pull him off the line and play the "hero" or defensive back/rover position.

On special teams, Barr turned in a good season as the Longhorns' punter, posting a 35.9-yard average.

In addition to earning all-state and all-star honors, Barr was named last month to the Class 4A Grand Canyon All-Region first team.

As a junior last season, Barr led the Longhorns in receptions with 22 for 405 yards and five TDs. At season's end, he was voted to the 3A All-Region East first team.

Barr's athletic abilities are not limited to the football field. He also is the leading scorer and rebounder on this year's Longhorn varsity basketball team.

Barr said he hopes to continue his football career on the collegiate level possibly at Mesa College where he would play for former Longhorn coach Dan Dunn.

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