North Delta football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Barns expects a state championship from ND this year

By Angie Ledbetter

Playing six years of football at North Delta School, senior Andy Barns loves the sport and his position of defensive and offensive tackle.  The most important thing he likes is being on a team and getting to meet other players.

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Barns loves the football program at North Delta and says that he wouldn’t play anywhere else.

“It’s great,” said Barns.  “I like Coach Russo and we’ve seen changes for the good.  We’re a whole lot closer as a family and as a team and we work.”

Barns had played under other coaches while at North Delta and last year was his first year to play under Coach Russo.

Barns said his personality fits a whole lot better with Russo’s personality.

“Last year was good, but we can do better,” he said. “The team played as a whole better under Coach Russo.”

As far as the other coaches, Barns said, “Coach Thomas is a good coach and he is the same guy to everybody. I really like Coach Hardy also.  He is a good guy.  I didn’t have any dealings with Coach Wilson because he coaches the backers.”

Barns sees himself as a leader on the team, and hopes he displays that by his actions  on the field.

“I don’t speak much,” he said. “I don’t know if my teammates look at me as a leader or not.”

His opinion of a leader is to do everything as well as you can 100 percent all the time and pick each other up if they get down.

“I would like to think that I do set an example to the other seniors and other players because I try to. I try to keep them in line.”

As far as how Barns deals with losing, he doesn’t like it.

“I just have to learn from it,” he said.

Barns said that summer workouts are going pretty well.

“Everybody is in here most of the time.”

What does Barns expect of the team this year?

 “The same thing I always do, a state championship,” he said. “I want to go undefeated and I want us to be the best team that we can possibly be.”

With the new schedule, Barns said he thought the toughest opponent would be Marshall Academy because they only lost one senior and they would have so much more experience this fall.

Barns runs track as his other sport.  In his spare time, he enjoys going to work and concerts.  He does not feel that he balances football and other things too well.

As far as being a senior, Barns said that it doesn’t feel like he’s a senior.  “It’s gone by fast.”

He plans to go to college after graduation but he does not know where yet.

“I think about playing football in college a lot,” he said. “I’m going to try to play.  It may not happen, but I’m going to try.”

Head Green Wave Coach Richard Russo said Barns has grown leaps and bounds since the first day that he got there last year, not only as a football player but as a young man also.

“When I got here, he didn’t work his way into either side starting position, so he was a scout team player, but he persevered,” Russo said. “He came in because a senior wasn’t getting the job done and really proved himself in the heat of the battle against Magnolia Heights last year. From that point on, he had a starting position and eventually worked his way into starting both ways offensively and defensively.

“I am very pleased with Andy’s progress,” Russo continued. “He’s very unique and he takes pride in being different from everyone else and there’s nothing wrong with that. We love him for his uniqueness. We’re looking forward to good things from him.”  

Andy is the only child  of David and Leslie Barns of Marks.