Brave takes to gridiron, eyes state track win

Transferring from Medora to Brownstown Central his sophomore year, Joseph Barnes decided to give a new sport a try — football.

After a few practices, he decided he didn’t enjoy taking to the field, so he decided to solely focus on throwing for the track and field season.

This year, however, Barnes couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the Braves on the gridiron.

“I just didn’t want to have any regrets my senior year,” Barnes said. “I just thought it would help track, too. All my friends were doing it and asked me if I wanted to play. I figured, ‘Why not?'”

This season, Barnes has started as the left defensive tackle for the Braves.

“I like how physical it is,” Barnes said. “I don’t have to read as much as a lot of other positions. I can mostly just hit the guy in front of me. Whatever happens, happens after that. It helps since I haven’t played before.”

Barnes has worked on his technique in his first year of football.

“I wasn’t used to going from my legs to upper body,” he said. “I have a tendency to stand up too much when I fire off the ball. I’ve been working on my mechanics every week. Staying low has been the biggest thing.”

He said joining the football team was one of the best decisions he has made in his three years at Brownstown.

“The community and coaches have been great,” Barnes said. “The entire team has had a fantastic attitude all year. I think everything is going really smooth. Everyone just feels like a family. There has never been a real problem. Everyone has just done their job.”

While Barnes has developed into a force on the football field this year, he’s best known for his throwing ability.

In his junior season, Barnes qualified for the state track and field meet in both discus and shot put.

For the shot put, he was the Mid-Southern Conference, Bedford North Lawrence Sectional and Bloomington North Regional champion.

Barnes also was the sectional champion for discus and set the school record at the regional by tossing 161-1 and placing third.

At Indiana University for state, Barnes placed 24th in the discus (145-11) and 15th in shot put (50-11¾).

This upcoming season, Barnes has even bigger expectations.

“I’m hoping to get the school record in shot put,” Barnes said. “I would like to also go undefeated up until state. Last year, I finally got beat in discus at the regional. There were some better throwers than me last year, but I think I’m the No. 1 seed coming back for discus.”

Over the summer, Barnes went to a national throws coaching association camp to help hone in on his skills.

He’s hoping all of his time spent between this past summer and spring will pay off in the biggest way possible.

“I have the experience now of making it to state,” Barnes said. “I don’t think it’s going to be like last year at all. I’m going to come in with the mindset that I’m going to take care of business.”

While he hasn’t signed to any school yet, Barnes currently plans on throwing at Indiana State University while also studying exercise science.

At a glance

Name: Joseph Barnes

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Joe and Stephanie Barnes

Sibling: Emily Barnes

Sports: Track and field, four years; football, one year

Athletic highlights: Sophomore and junior bench press record at BCHS; football: Mid-Southern Conference, sectional and regional champions; track and field: discus throw school record, discus sectional/MSC champion and state qualifier, shot put MSC/sectional/regional champion and state qualifier

Plans after high school: Indiana State University to study exercise science and throw

Favorite food: Chicken Alfredo

Favorite TV show: “South Park”

Favorite musician: Eric Chruch

Favorite movie: “Watchmen”

Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.