Southwestern College QB embraces return to football
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The saying “age is nothing but a number” normally isn’t reserved for college quarterbacks, but it is part of the mentality for Southwestern quarterback Luke Barnes.
“The defense calls me pee-paw, but at the same time it is a lot of love. They know what I am here for, I’m here to work hard and try to get some wins,” Barnes said.
With his 30th birthday, just weeks away, Barnes brings a more seasoned perspective to the field than any of his teammates. Southwestern Head Coach Brad Griffin says it all goes back to one thing, his quarterback wants to win.
“He is probably the most competitive guy we have, and we have a lot of them,” Griffin noted. “I think that is why he has been a winner, he won a lot of games in high school. I think they won the conference championship when he was at Hutch. When you are that competitive and it means that much to you, it rubs off on the guys as well,” Griffin shared.
Barnes last played football in the fall of 2013, when he was the starting quarterback at Hutchinson Community College. After the season, he walked away from the game to enter the workforce. Somewhere along the journey, the desire to play again caught Barnes’ attention.
He says it was a feeling he couldn’t shake.
“I thought that I was done with football but after a few years I knew I had a little bit left in the tank,” he smiled.
Now, the starting quarterback on the field for the Builders, Barnes is back to his winning ways, but for him, this second chance is about more than just the final score.
“Ultimately, my first goal is to finish my business degree that is first and foremost,” Barnes explained. " I am here to play football so we are going to take each game, one game at a time and take it one week and see where it ends up,” he finished
Barnes says the best part about being back on the field is the team atmosphere and credits his teammates for welcoming him in more than a year ago. Now back to the game he loves most, Barnes says it’s the little things he’s taking in with this second chance.
“When I played a few years back, I might have taken some of those small things for granted, but here those are the things you learn to appreciate and those are the things that can take you to the next level,” he said.
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