Gridiron
Barnett sparks Knight offense

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Maggie Cunningham

M. Cunningham

The Kings High School football team has begun the season with a strong 5-0 record, spearheaded in large part by Senior running back DeAndre Barnett.

With only half of the season in the books, Barnett is establishing record setting numbers, including scoring an unprecedented six touchdowns in one game against Talawanda.

In addition, Barnett currently leads the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) in rushing with 888 yards and racking up 80 of Kings’ 190 points scored through week five. He has become a regular on local news sports polls for player of the week.

Barnett’s season so faar can be easily compared to previous memorable seasons with other big Knight leaders such as Jamire Westbrook, Justin Crull and Nick Bauer.

“DeAndre compares to previous leaders because they are all known for their huge hearts and drive,” said Kings Football Coach Andy Olds.

Barnett has always been a strong player for Kings, improving skills over the years by making sure maintain fitness by exercising daily. But Olds said that perhaps the biggest growth for Barnett over the years has been the evolution of his character – on and off the field.

“The main improvement with DeAndre is that he has gained a lot of confidence throughout the years and has BARNETT2displayed his strengths this season,” explains Olds.

While always displaying a passion for improving his performances on the field, Barnett has also prioritized maintaining himself academically.

“I try to plan out when I am going to do homework and study the night before because it can be really easy to fall behind,” tells Barnett.

Academics are always an important part of an athlete’s success in trying to plan for the future. Barnett is interested in continuing his playing football in college and pursuing that into his future career.

“My future goal is to play football in college and major in business,” said Barnett. “With that degree, I would want to use it to either continue playing or coaching.”

Barnett has not decided on any school yet but is keeping his options open. For the moment, the star senior halfback is focusing on concluding his Kings career on a high note.

This week the Knights face Walnut Hills to try to go a perfect 6-0. Next week is the Homecoming Game against Milford, followed by games against Withrow, Glen Este and Anderson to wrap up the 10-game season.

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