Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
He was called the hardest-hitter among Green Dragon football players in the last decade at Westbury High School.
“I remember one game specifically. We played Elmont in the playoffs and lost by a touchdown, but the collisions – you felt it on the sideline,” said Westbury Athletic Director Doric Capsis.
As the familiar saying goes – some things never change.
Westbury’s Keith Barnes (class of 2006) recently made his final tackle at the NCAA Division 3 Senior Bowl, a game to which Barnes was invited following a storied career for the SUNY Maritime Privateers.
That last tackle was one of seven Barnes recorded in the game – and hundreds the Westbury native earned in his four-year career.
Since Maritime’s program was reinstated in 2006, Barnes, an international transportation and trade major, set several school records ablaze.
This past season alone, Barnes was named the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Defensive Player of The Week three times. The linebacker led not just the ECFC, but the entire nation, in average tackles per game (8.33) and finished with 124 total tackles on the year – six more than the next closest player, who appeared in 11 games to Barnes’ nine. He was also named the ECFC Defensive Player of the Year … both in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Barnes wreaked havoc on opposing offenses – thanks in part to his off-season work in the weight room, where he twice earned the Iron Privateer Level award for lifting a combined total of 1,625 pounds (junior year) in four max-out attempts.
And though his career is over, Barnes’ list of accomplishments is seemingly endless. The accolades date back to his freshman year, when Barnes’ teammates voted him the squad’s Defensive MVP.
“Barnes was a combination of speed and power. He would get to the point of contact rapidly and deliver a tremendous clean hit on the running backs, always driving them back,” Capsis said. “It was like an explosion.”
Many former Green Dragons also suited up for the Privateers this season, including Chrisrichard JeanBaptiste, Hugh O’Brien and Thomas Davis. The starting salary for Maritime graduates in 2011 was $60,000.
While Barnes’ explosively loud tackles were often mistaken with backfiring cars, the linebacker himself is much more unassuming.
“He was quiet. He wasn’t a guy that talked any ‘BS.’ He did all his talking on the field,” Capsis said.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.
In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.
“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9.
Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray.
The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.
Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds. Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group. She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group. Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.