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, 19 December 2013 00:00
Demetra Ingram wanted to get healthy. The 56-year-old Westbury resident had gained weight over the past several years, and at a recent doctor’s appointment, was told that she had an irregular heartbeat. Her doctor encouraged her to do cardio exercise, not only for her heart, but to help fight Alzheimer’s Disease, which runs in her family.
So Ingram, along with a team of fellow members from her sorority Pheta Iota Omega, decided to join the Long Island Weight Loss Challenge, an eight-week health initiative that encouraged people to focus on healthy eating and exercise.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00
Thanks to a grant from the Early Years Institute (EYI), several area daycares and early childhood organizations will be able to expand their services and continue to help Westbury youngsters learn valuable skills they need to succeed in school and life.
Eleven groups applied for the Ready Set Achieve grant, which was donated to the EYI by The Rauch Foundation. Grants were awarded to nine groups in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
The grants will go toward a variety of community agencies dedicated to helping improve school readiness for children ages one to five. Many applicants wanted to use the money to expand their daycare programs, while others wanted to use the funding to increase literacy or create educational workshops for parents. The LIFE Lutheran Church is one such group that received a grant for $7,500, which will help them continue their free ESL program.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Congratulations to the Westbury boys varsity basketball team who defeated East Meadow High Schoool 57 to 51 to win the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
The tournament was dedicated to Coach Martin “Bunky” Reid and the 1985 state championship team. Before the finals of the tournament, a poster signed by many of the players from the 85’ team was presented to Mrs. Reid to honor her son.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The wrestling team at Westbury High School looks forward to a fresh start this season. Last year, they struggled to stay atop the Nassau Conference, but this time, the team has a lot of valuable pieces that are crucial for them to flip the script and potentially climb to the top of the standings.
One of the shining stars in the school’s team this year is the dominating Raeco Jackson. For the past two seasons, Jackson has had an extraordinary winning record in the 113 and 120 weight classes. “Last year, my record was 28-5 and the year before that it was 30-5,” he said. With a total record of 58 wins and 10 losses, he has won 85 percent of his matches. His impressive feat helped Jackson receive all-county honors last season.
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