Rural Missouri - November 2013 - (Page 20)

Right: Tim gets ready to snap the ball during his days as the center for the Missouri Tigers, a starting position he held for three years. He played with both Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert, Mizzou quarterbacks who now play in the NFL. Below: Tim says the toughest part of his game these days is staying mentally sharp on the sidelines. Here he works on plays with tight end Mike McNeill and the Rams' special teams coordinator John Fassel. photo above by Chris Dunn, Columbia Missourian Right: While Tim still hopes for a starting position, playing special teams is his current role with the St. Louis Rams. He anchored the right side of the line during this point-after-try kick against the Jacksonville Jaguars, easily one-handing two defenders. Tim's ability to play multiple positions dates back to his high school days. J by Jim McCarty jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop Big man from a sm eff Barnes can still remember when he knew his son, Tim, might be destined for stardom. The two were wrestling in the lege scouts. Assuming they do well in family living room. college, there's still just a small chance "I reached out, and I grabbed his they will be drafted to fill one of the ankle," recalls the Central Missouri 53 spots on an NFL team. Electric Cooperative member. "I That Tim Barnes beat these odds noticed I couldn't close is even more amazing. Sure, Tim my hand around his excelled since third grade playing ankle. I couldn't even youth football in a league based come close. And shortly in Sedalia. But when he * after that, he got me over approached high-school age, Longwood in the corner. I couldn't get his football career faced a away from him. That's when tremendous hurdle: His I first thought it shouldn't high school didn't have be that hard to whip a thirda football team. grader." Tim's parents, Jeff and Tim has come a long way since the Becky, considered moving to a school days when he was an overgrown kid district that played football. Instead, growing up in Longwood, a village Jeff started a crusade to convince the located just north of Sedalia that is Missouri State High School Activitoo small to have its population listed ties Association to allow schools to on the map. He's one of a handful of field cooperative teams with nearby small-town athletes who beat long schools when they were too small to odds to make it to the National Footfill a team themselves. ball League as a back-up center for the For three years, he made his case St. Louis Rams. and was shot down. Undaunted, Of the estimated 100,000 athletes he teamed up with auctioneer Dick who currently play high school footHutchison and a determined group ball, only about 215 will ever make of parents to convince Northwest it to the professional level. First, they High School's board to add football. have to win the genetic lottery - Donations poured in until most of born big enough, strong enough and the $20,000 needed to build a football fast enough to make the grade. field and equip players was raised. They have to excel on the field and Pepsi donated a scoreboard. Central somehow catch the attention of colMissouri Electric Cooperative set the 20 Hard work took Tim Barn light poles. A local fabricator made goal posts. A host of volunteers - including the principal - helped get the team on the field. And Tim got his chance to shine. "We had a lot of good parents, mine and all of my close friends," Tim says. "Our parents gave up everything to help us do what we wanted." Before Tim stepped on the field for the first time as a Northwest High School Mustang, he was on the radar for recruiters at the University of Missouri. "My dad, he really thought I could play in college," Tim says. "He pushed me to go to some camps when I was in junior high. So we went up there, and they showed interest." That's putting it mildly. Jeff says the camp's organizers told him there was only one Division I prospect at the camp, and that was his son, Tim. In high school, Tim grew to be a solid 6-foot, 4-inch, 306-pound beast. "He was incredible," says his coach, Caleb Crooker, who still leads the Mustangs football program. "We would move him all over the line to take advantage of him. He played every position except for quarterback. WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP He could snap the ball. He could catch the ball. He was fast. "His senior year, if he wasn't injured, we were going to play him some at fullback. He missed the first five games. He came back and played with one arm and was still a force. That's just Tim Barnes. He works hard, and he has always played hard." Tim says he actually did play in the backfield as a freshman when the Class 1 team ran short of players. "It wasn't fun," he recalls with a smile. "I think I had 28 yards for the game." He had one touchdown for the Mustangs but created huge holes for the team's ball carriers, including his older brother, Dan, a walk-on at Mizzou. He played on the Mustang's offensive and defensive lines, as well as special teams. In most games, he never left the field. Tim was ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect in the state of Missouri by Rivals and the No. 23 offensive guard prospect in the nation. He also played basketball and baseball for the Mustangs. And though he shined in all three sports, there was no doubt he would play college foot- http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2013

Rural Missouri - November 2013
Contents
Comments
Columns
White mules and family wine
Helping our neighbors
A rolling tribute to freedom
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Big man from a small town
Hearth and Home
Best of rural Missouri
Salvaging history
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2013

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