John Yeates continues dominance

Published 10:21 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

John Yeates Middle School has won its third consecutive middle school football championship and its fourth in the last five years.

They went undefeated this year, outscoring opponents a combined 101-12. That shows that not only was JYMS strong offensively, but defensively as well.

Coach Darwin Barbee is proud of what his team has accomplished this year, as well as what has been built in the recent years.

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Barbee believes the foundation starts at home. He applauds the player’s families for instilling a solid foundation in his kids. John Yeates had 98 kids come out for the team this year. Each of the kids that tried out was eligible academically.

“I think being a part of something special like this sets the tone for the kids’ lives,” Barbee said. “Everything is a competition. When these kids see the teams before them go undefeated, they want to do their best to carry that out as well. The kids are always trying to be the best they can be.”

The most fulfilling thing for Barbee this year was seeing each one of his players being able to play in a game this season. Barbee had players on his team that never played football before but were able to build their confidence in just one or two plays in a game.

“The great thing about it is seeing the kids go out there and enjoy the moment,” he said.

Barbee knows the game of football and sports, in general, bring people together. The athletes work together for a common goal to be the best they can be as a team.

Even if the team weren’t winning, he said, they could learn life lessons from playing sports. Being able to make sacrifices and push teammates establishes a championship mindset, not just in football but in life.

“We all come from different backgrounds and upbringings,” Barbee said. “The game teaches them how to work with each other for the greater good. It doesn’t always start off fresh, but they understand that staying the course would be rewarding. You get ups and downs in life, but it’s about staying focused and pressing forward.”