Senior Spotlight: Kendarius Irvin

By John Goolsby

Like most high school players, Kendarius Irvin started playing football at a young age. “As soon as I was allowed to play at the age of 6, I was playing on 7u teams,” Irvin said. “I played up to my 8th-grade year.”

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Irvin, a standout basketball player for the Mounties, decided he wanted to focus on basketball. “I had just picked basketball up in the 7th grade but was much better at it,” he said. Irvin returned to football for his senior year “because I knew that Coach Nelson was building something great and something that I hadn’t seen since I’ve been at Shades Valley.”

Kendarius is a true pleasure to coach,” said wide receiver coach Martee Pope. “He is the type of player that is always looking for ways to improve his game and the entire receiver group.”

One of Irvin’s strengths is that he is a team player. “Kendarius doesn’t mind being whatever piece of the puzzle we need him to be,” said Pope. “That speaks volumes to the type of athlete he is.”

The selflessness that Irvin exhibits can be attributed to his maturity. “He is very kind and very mature,” says his mom, Kendora Barnfield. “He has always clicked with older people.”

Irvin’s goal for the year was to “go deep into the playoffs and change how people think about Shades Valley Football.” Even though the Mounties missed the playoff this year, Irvin can rest in knowing that the 2022 team has people thinking differently about the program. The Mounties had a winning record for the first time since 2017.

Irvin has interest from one school to play football, and several schools are interested in him for basketball. He has an offer from Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Irvin feels he can play football in college. “I feel like I could be a next-level wide receiver if I am given some work due to me not playing for the past couple of years,” he said.

“I want to be remembered as a smart, fun, athletic, and hardworking person that always put the important things first,” said Irvin.

The future is bright for the IB student from Pleasant Grove. “He’s going to go pre-med wherever he decides to go,” Barnfield says. “He will make a good doctor because he is kind and smart.”

“His leadership in our receiver group will truly be missed,” said Pope.

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