Friday Football Extra's 35th annual awards banquet

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -- After dishing out the highlights all season long, we dished out some hardware Thursday night at our 35th annual Friday Football Extra Awards banquet inside the Patrick Henry Ballroom in downtown Roanoke.

15 players of the week were honored, along with four coaches of the year. It was another year of high school football in the history books.

Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs -- extraordinary talent from across the region all together under the same roof, but our 16th honored player holds a position on his own at linebacker.

"It's a great honor to win an award when you put in all that hard work to come in early for morning practices and staying after practice for workouts. It's a great honor to be chosen for it," Lee Cook lineman of the year Maxx Philpott said.

For the four coaches of the year, none achieved a state championship. However, their seasons were not marked by loss, but by tremendous growth.

"My fun times are watching the kids grow and get better," Lord Botetourt head coach Jamie Harless said.

In his first year with Blacksburg, head coach Eddie Sloss did not skip a beat. Leading the Bruins through an undefeated season until the state semifinals.

"It was a blast. I enjoyed every single minute of it. Had a group of guys who just loved each other, and it was meaningful for them, from the start game one all the way to game 14. To lose the way we lost, it was heartbreaking, tough to swallow but a great experience," Sloss said.

Jamie Harless and the Cavaliers also felt the sting of a semifinal heartbreak, but their toughness, something you could never deny.

"Our kids, they need a wheelbarrow to carry their guts around with them. They're tough kids. They did not quit. They really epitomized how yo play football for 48 minutes. You play football like you live life. You don't quit in the third quarter, You don't quit until the clock says zero," Harless said.

After last season, you could call both Radford and Northside the comeback kids. Matthew Saunders and Scott Fisher pulling a 180, making it deep into the postseason.

"It's unbelievable. They know how much time you put in and the effort. You have your ups and downs as a coach and staff. Them to vote me as coach of the year means the world to me," Radford head coach Matthew Saunders said.

"We won a lot of football games. We had a lot of kids do a lot of special things. Our community rallied around our football team. Football teaches a lot of great characteristics and perseverance is one of them. We like to think we handled adversity really well," Northside head coach Scott Fisher said.

The Heritage Pioneers know a thing or two about adversity. Dropping the class 3 championship to Hopewell last year, they rewrote the story in 2018 -- as the last team standing and rightfully deserve our 2018 team of the year!

"To win that thing in the end, it's not so much for yourself, personally as a coach, because you'll be back next year. But those seniors will not be back and may not ever have another opportunity to win a championship as a team. To see how excited they were and their joy, man that's priceless," Heritage head coach Brad Bradley said.

Congratulations to all of the players and coaches!