When the opposing offense attacks his side of the field, Payton Barker looks to stop runners in their tracks.
The Brownstown Central senior is working as an outside linebacker and backup tight end in his final season with the Braves’ football program.
Thus far this season, Barker has 17 tackles (six solo) — including four for losses — and one interception.
Barker said he started playing football in the 56ers program in Browns-town, so he has been involved in the game for seven years.
While he has shifted around on the offense from fullback to slot to tight end, he has always played as a linebacker.
“(Football) has always been something I’ve enjoyed,” he said.
As a linebacker, Barker is reading plays before they develop on the defense.
“I like the keys,” he said. “I like to make plays that come outside. You’re able to keep your outside arm free and turn everything into your teammates. I’m small. I can get off block and get outside quickly.”
So far this season, the Braves are giving up 11.5 points per game.
Barker feels the defense is playing well together.
“We’re communicating and following our team layout,” Barker said. “Everyone is doing their job. If everyone does that, everyone succeeds.”
While he has plenty of fond memories, winning last year’s regional stands at the forefront for Barker.
“It was a big moment for the team we had last year,” he said. “We were all pretty close friends.”
As the season winds down, Barker expects big things from the team.
“The teams that we face in the tournament will be challenging,” he said. “It will push our team to work harder for more success.”
Outside of sports, Barker enjoys playing the guitar and robotics.
“I plan on becoming a robotic technician,” he said. “I could go to a place like Honda or Allison Transmission up toward (Indianapolis). I took engineering classes in previous years.”
Name: Payton Barker
School: Brownstown Central
Parents: Charles and Tara Barker
Sport: Football, four years
Athletic highlights: Two-time Mid-Southern Conference champions, two-time sectional champions, 2016 regional champions
Organization: National Honor Society
Plans after high school: Study advanced automation and robot technology
Favorite food: Soup beans and cornbread
Favorite TV show: “Looney Tunes”
Favorite musician: Conway Twitty
Favorite movie: “True Grit”
Favorite team: Kentucky Wildcats
The Brownstown Central High School varsity football coaches have announced awards for Friday’s 28-7 against Silver Creek.
Earning honors are Colton Ritz, Offensive Back MVP; Stuart Hayden, Offensive Line MVP; Luke Shelton, Defensive Line/Inside Linebacker MVP; Derek Thompson, Defensive Back/Dime MVP; Caleb Bollinger, Special Teams MVP; Cody Griffith, Scout Team MVP; Hayden, Ritz, Lendon Underwood, Bollinger, black jersey winners.