Jared Barber held his first “meet and greet” with football players and parents last Friday. The event was a fish fry at Riverdale Academy. There was plenty of great food and tie to get to know Coach Barber.
Barber told the gathering, “I grew up in Shreveport. I coached there and in East Texas. My team went to the Texas semi-finals in 2015, than became state champions in 2016.” He said he moved to a new school for 2017 and that team went to the state semi-finals.
“I am super excited to be here to coach your kids,” Barber said, “but it is not about winning. It is about building character.” And Barber said, “We are not building a team but a program. I hope these kids will look back at their 20 year graduation reunion and see that the program is still going.”
He said his priorities are faith, family, and academics and then football. “You have to have it all in order because academics is important,” added Barber. He told the players; “You will walk out of school with a diploma, God’s story in your heart and a championship ring.”
The coach talked enthusiastically about playoffs this fall, even though the schedule has not yet been set. He set the tone for team discipline, hard work, and keeping commitments. “I expect 100 percent commitment. A lack of it is not acceptable. There will be no cursing. You will keep your lockers clean and everything in order.”
In setting the bar pretty high for his players, Coach Barber said that playing time would be earned, not given. “Lack of effort won’t be tolerated,” said Barber, “We are creating a brotherhood. You will do whatever it takes to do something for your brother.”
Practices begin July 23rd with workouts running from 8:00 am until noon daily. First action comes at the Jamboree August 11th at ULM in Monroe. Barber said there would be 5 home and 5 away games with the first game on the road at Rebul Academy in Learned, Mississippi on August 17th. The schedule is not final due to at least one other school being unsure if they would have football this fall. The schedule is expected to be finalized in the near future.
Coach Barber summed it up this way, “Work hard, study hard, and play hard.”
Pictured with the article is Coach Barber with one of his outstanding players from Dallas Christian School in Mesquite to after their quarterfinal win.