If you were looking for Joseph Barnes this past year, he was working on his throws.
Barnes dedicated all of his time and effort into the shot put and discus through all four seasons.
After only being able to throw junior varsity his sophomore season due to transferring schools, Barnes had a chip on his shoulder going into his junior year.
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That chip remained the entirety of the season.
“I threw the entire year,” Barnes said. “I didn’t play football last year and went to several indoor meets. I was practicing since February. We were training constantly. There was never a point where I was rusty. Coach (Jerry) Brown is just as dedicated to throwing as I am, and he was there the whole time. I’m always supported, and it carried me along.”
Barnes won week in and week out in the throwing events, dominating the competition for most of the track and field season.
With all of his accomplishments this season, Barnes is The Tribune’s 2016 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“I think a lot of it is his strength,” Braves coach Sam Terrell said. “He’s incredibly strong. He’s at the top of the weightlifting list. He’s also very fast for how big he is. He’s very quick with his feet. Mechanically, he does great things. Coach Brown has gotten the technical aspect down. When you combine everything, it turns into something great.”
At the Mid-Southern Conference meet in Corydon, Barnes won the shot put with a throw of 50-2½ and discus by hurling 147-0½.
That was just the start of the big-time throws when he needed them most.
Barnes went on to win the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional in both events, throwing 51-7 for shot put and 157-8 in the discus.
He then punched a pair of tickets to state, surprising many competitors.
“Several people I talked to asked why I didn’t throw last year,” Barnes said. “I told them I had been throwing. Some of the guys at the bigger schools hadn’t seen me since I went to Medora. They didn’t even know where I went. I shocked several people, I would say.”
At the Bloomington North Regional, Barnes emerged as champion in the shot put by launching 55-7½.
In the discus, he broke the school record at 161-1, good enough for third place.
At Indiana University, Barnes placed 24th in the discus (145-11) and 15th in shot put (50-11¾).
“I think, next year, I’m going to come into state knowing I can win,” Barnes said. “I don’t want to come in fighting for third, fourth or fifth place. I’m going to go in knowing what I can throw and win state.”
Terrell said he thought Barnes would have a special season after sitting out from the varsity in 2015.
“Him transferring in last year, he had to compete at the junior varsity level, but I knew something special was going to be there,” he said. “Even though he couldn’t compete for us, he still came every day and busted his butt. He was always there throwing the JV meets.
“You would have never thought he was that guy who just transferred in. Everything he did was all on him. We coached him like everyone else, but he put in a ton of work even though he knew he wasn’t scoring.”
Barnes said he plans to break the shot put record at Brownstown in the first meet next season.
A handful of colleges, including West Point, have contacted Barnes in regards to throwing at the next level.
“I want to throw in college 100 percent,” Barnes said. “I want to go into athletic training and sports medicine. Throwing would be a bonus. It could go hand-in-hand with my throwing.”
Jake McCullough, Brownstown Central, senior
Accomplishments: Qualified for state in the 800-meter run, regional qualifier in the 3,200-meter run, All-Mid-Southern Conference honorable mention in the 4×800-meter relay, BCHS most valuable track member 2016.
Jacob Bollinger, Brownstown Central, junior
Accomplishments: Qualified for state in the pole vault, placed first at sectional and third at regional in the pole vault, BCHS most improved award 2016.
Colton Ritz, Brownstown Central, sophomore
Accomplishments: All-MSC honorable mention 4×800 relay, regional qualifier in the 4×800 relay and pole vault.
Clay Wilkerson, Brownstown Central, senior
Accomplishments: All-MSC honorable mention for shot put, regional qualifier in shot put
Harlan Deaton, Brownstown Central, junior
Accomplishments: All-MSC honorable mention in the 4×800 relay, BCHS most outstanding distance runner 2016.
Noah Hoskins, Crothersville, sophomore
Accomplishments: Set the school record in the 100-meter dash (11.16), CHS most outstanding field events and most outstanding runner awards 2016.
Seth Ragon, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Qualified for state in the high jump for the second-straight year, won the high jump in the Seymour Invitational, SHS most outstanding field events award 2016.
Cameron Deppen, Seymour, senior
Accomplishments: HHC and sectional champion in the 1,600-meter run, qualified for the regional in the 4×800, 1,600 and 3,200, SHS most valuable runner 2016.
Kem Forvil, Seymour, senior
Accomplishments: Seymour Invitational champion and regional qualifier for the 400-meter dash.
Jacob Voss, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: HHC champion in the 3,200, qualified for regional.
Austin Hatfield, Seymour, senior
Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in the 4×100-meter relay and long jump.
Ethan Ortman, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay.
Hunter Bauserman, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in the 1,600, ran and scored in three events for the Owls.
Gavin Blanton, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Regional qualifier for the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
Evens Cribs, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Regional qualifier for the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
A.J. Goecker, Trinity Lutheran, freshman
Accomplishments: Sectional champion in the 3,200, set school records in 1,600, 3,200 and 4×800 relay, TLHS most valuable 2016.
Matt McKay, Trinity Lutheran, junior
Accomplishments: Qualified for regional in the 110 hurdles, placed second at sectional.
Ryan Benter, Brownstown Central, senior
Andrew Kellermeier, Brownstown Central, sophomore
Lane Wienhorst, Crothersville, freshman
Codi McDonald, Crothersville, senior
Matt Jones, Medora, senior
Zac Thompson, Medora, senior
Bradan Thomasma, Seymour, junior
Conner Lane, Seymour, sophomore
Tim Molinari, Seymour, senior
Luke Champ, Seymour, freshman
Nik Richert, Seymour, junior
Jake Vance, Seymour, junior
Corbin Lovins, Seymour, senior
Nikolai Haak, Trinity Lutheran, senior
Luke Onken, Trinity Lutheran, senior
2016 Jackson County Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year
Joseph Barnes, Brownstown Central, junior
- State qualifier in shot put and discus
- Regional champion in shot put (55-7½)
- Sectional champion in discus and shot put
- Mid-Southern Conference champion in discus and shot put
- Broke school record in discus (161-1)
- BCHS most outstanding athlete in field events 2016.