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Swapping Paint: Hard-nosed Barrett Looking Forward to Moving on From Redbank Valley Trenches to Those at Grove City College

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Rising from bed to go to Saturday morning film sessions was rough for Kolby Barrett.

After a Friday night spent in the trenches, “swapping paint,” as he put it, for 48 minutes as a left guard and nose tackle for the Redbank Valley football team, his body balked the next day.

(Photo by Madison McFarland)

“I mean, it was just dogfights all game long,” Barrett said. “I loved it. I enjoy doing that. I enjoy getting my helmet scratched up, but it’s tiring. My entire body ached Saturday morning, but it was also awesome.”

Barrett was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs. His missed two games during his career at Redbank Valley and he was the anchor of an offensive line this season that helped the team reach the PIAA Class A championship game, where they lost to Bishop Guilfoyle, 21-14.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

The 5-foot-9, 260-pound Barrett was tenacious on both sides of the ball.

In the state title game against Guilfoyle, Barrett was a thorn in the Marauders side on defense all game, getting quick penetration and blowing up two short-yardage plays on fourth down for stops.

Barrett had 54 tackles this season — 14.5 for a loss.

“He was by far our best offensive lineman, and he was an anchor for us on that defensive line,” said Redbank Valley coach Blane Gold. “Coming into the year, we didn’t know how we were going to be able to replace Kobe Bonnano. But (Kolby) really stepped up and really filled that spot well.”

The 6-3, 280-pound Bonnano moved on to play at Grove City College this fall.

That’s where Barrett will play next year.

Barrett has always wanted to be a Wolverine.

Grove City College felt like home. It had everything Barrett wanted in a school.

Superb academics and a Christian atmosphere.

Barrett was going to go to Grove City College regardless of his athletic future. He’s going to study communications with a focus on journalism and didn’t even entertain the thought of going anywhere else.

Turns out football was an option at Grove City, too.

“Before football even came into the discussion, I wanted to go there,” Barrett said. “I was like, ‘Man, I really love this school.’ When football came into the equation it was like, ‘Man, I really love this school even more now.’”

Barrett will go from one winning program to another.

Redbank Valley was 36-10 over the last four years, including two District 9 Class A titles. Grove City College was 27-10 over the same span, including three ECAC Bowl wins.

“This is definitely a really good fit for Kolby,” Gold said. “He not only has the athletic ability to be successful there, but he has the intellectual ability to be successful in the classroom there, too.”

Gold knows Grove City College well. He played there for four years from 2007 to 2010.

Barrett said he is happy to extend his playing career. A week after the state championship loss, Barrett has had the chance to reflect on his four years at Redbank Valley.

“I was talking to Coach at school this week. I kind of need that football because I’ve been in it for so long this year that it feels unnatural not to go to practice every day,” Barrett said. “The team I got to play with this year, and the guys, it’s been an unreal season. I never would have thought in my four years playing I would be able to bring our small, little school to a state championship game. It was an unreal experience and something I’ll never forget.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.