Bishop, McMillan top All-MLC team for Johnson Co.

By Matt Hill

   MOUNTAIN CITY-- The All-Mountain Lakes football team came out last week, with the Johnson County Longhorns being well represented.
   Five Longhorns made the squad, including two who garnered first-team selections.
   Offensive lineman Bill McMillan and defensive end Justin Bishop were first-team choices. Tight end Jason Poteet, linebacker Aaron Payne and linebacker Adam Leonard ended up on the second team.
   "We felt good about it," Johnson County head coach Mike Atwood said. "It's hard to make it the way we do it. They do it by position. We were happy to have five."
   McMillan was a stellar performer on the Longhorn line this season, and definitely earned the respect of the Mountain Lakes coaches.
   Atwood was extremely proud of McMillan for battling through injures at the end of the season.
   "He was probably our most consistent player on the offensive line," Atwood said. "He played hurt at the end of the season. He had the best summer in the weight room. We were proud of him. We felt like he deserved it."
   Bishop recorded 11 sacks on the year, and finished with 100 tackles. Had the Longhorns produced a better record, Bishop might have been given major consideration for Defensive-Player-of-the-Year in the Mountain Lakes.
   "His numbers were as good as anybody's," Atwood said. "We felt like he definitely deserved all-conference. We felt like he had just as good of a year this year as he did last year. We felt like he could have started for any team in the conference."
   Poteet saw action as a wide receiver and at quarterback for the Longhorns this season, but tight end is where he made his biggest contribution. Poteet finished the year with 18 catches and two touchdowns.
   "We're happy he made it," Atwood said. "He did a little bit of everything for us, so I was glad he made the team."
   Payne saw action at fullback and as the return man on the Longhorn special teams unit, but his presence was really felt at linebacker.
   "We were glad that he made the team," Atwood said. "He is undersized playing linebacker, but he did well. He's a solid return man and running back. I don't think he came off the field for anything."
   It wasn't a surprise that Leonard made the squad, but it will come as a stunner to some people that he wasn't a first-team selection. Leonard was a dominating force this season for the Longhorns.
   Leonard tore his ACL the last week of the season in practice, and maybe would have been a first-team selection had it not been for that.
   "He missed the final game due to injuries, and if it wasn't for that his stats would have been as good as anybody's," Atwood said. "He was just starting to play real good at the end of the season."
   With Johnson County not only being the smallest school in the Mountain Lakes, but also in Class 4A makes getting five players on the all-conference team a major accomplishment for this football squad.
   "We're real proud of all our boys," Atwood said. "There are so many good players in this conference. This is a testament to our boys for all the hard work they've put in. To be honored for what you did on the field by the coaches is the best honor you can have."
   * Longhorn players Adam Johnson, Matt Dunn and Shane Humphrey were all honorable mention selections.