by Nicholas Humble
October 9, 2009 – An avid soccer player and talented football player, Slidell High kicker Chris Barnes, has kicked his way into the spotlight. “I’ve always been into soccer. I just kinda figured I could kick a football, too, so I tried it.”
Barnes decided to be a kicker when he started playing football in 8th grade. “At first I picked up on it myself,” Barnes said. Then, the summer after his 10th grade year, he went to a summer kicking camp in Texas, and he has been going there every summer since.Barnes currently plays kicker, punter and recently started playing receiver. “My first play in the game as a receiver, I caught a touchdown. Then I kicked the extra point and kicked off right after that, too. I made all 7 points.”
Barnes enjoys kicking in front of his home crowd. “I’m used to the surroundings, used to everybody in my home field and the way the fields set up.”
After high school, Barnes hopes to play for LSU. “I’ve always loved LSU,” Barnes said. “I’ve always wanted to go there.” With Barnes’ kicking ability, there is no doubt that he has the talent to make it to the next level. In a game he has kicked a 40-yard field goal, and in practice he has reached even further distances. “In practice I’ve hit sixty a couple of times.” He is also very accurate with his kicks. Last year Barnes converted 34/36 extra points and 6/9 field goal attempts, and his average distance on kickoffs was 63 yards. It also does not hurt that he ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash.
Barnes is a very determined individual and has high aspirations for the 2009 football season. “I definitely want to get all my kickoffs in the end zone.” Last year, Barnes was the most valuable player of the soccer team and won second team All-District. He hopes this year he can win All-District for the football team. He also believes his team can win district and maybe even win state.
He is not only determined in football; he is also a very determined student. Keeping up with grades and his schoolwork are very important to him. His parents have been a major influence on him having this attitude toward school. “They help me deal with all my problems. I can go to them if I need to.”
Barnes believes his best quality is honesty and trustworthiness, and he feels a gift he could bring to any team is his hard work and determination. “Always give 100% no matter what. Always try my hardest.”
It is Barnes’ dream to play in the NFL, and if he got that chance, he wouldn’t care who he played for. If he got to choose, there would be no doubt as he would love to kick for his favorite team. “If I got to choose, I wouldn’t mind playing for the Saints.”
For now Barnes can wait on the NFL as he enjoys each game under the Friday night lights. “I just like the feeling of being out there on a Friday night with everybody in the stands screaming and lights being on,” Barnes said. “I just like that feeling.”