KEIZER – Kolby Barker may fly jets one day after college, but for now he’s happy to have an opportunity to play football for the Air Force Academy.
The McNary High School senior signed a Certificate of Intent on Wednesday during a ceremony in the school’s library.
“This is something every football player dreams of, your signing day,” Barker said. “I’m so excited.”
Air Force recruits do not sign National Letters of Intent, and the Certificate of Intent serves as a non-binding agreement that signifies an athlete’s commitment to follow through with the appointment process and allows them to participate in signing day for publicity purposes.
Barker plans to arrive on the Colorado Springs campus in late June for basic training.
The Falcons, members of the Mountain West Conference, finished 10-3 last season.
“They have a great football program,” said Barker, a 6-foot-5, 250 pounder who plans to play defensive end in college and major in business management. “At Air Force your future is secure there. You have a guaranteed job afterwards and the education is at such a high level.”
A two-time first-team Greater Valley Conference selection on defense – Barker played defensive end, linebacker and offensive line this season – he helped lead the Celtics to a 6-4 record in 2016 and a berth in the Class 6A state playoffs.
In 30 career games (all starts) at McNary, Barker had 261 total tackles, including 66 tackles for loss and 19 sacks.
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In addition to Air Force, Barker received interest from Portland State, Northern Arizona, UC Davis, Wyoming and Hawaii. He opted for Air Force during his official recruiting visit last month.
“I got on the campus, I met with the coaches, I saw what my future would hold and that’s the place for me,” Barker said.
McNary coach Jeff Auvinen said Barker “turned into a fantastic leader for us” during the 2016 season.
“You look at where he’s going, tons of leaders down there with the Air Force,” Auvinen said. “He’s gonna be a great leader for our country as well.”
Air Force graduates commit to four years of service post-college, which can be served in a variety of capacities. If Barker has what it takes to play in the NFL, he could delay that commitment until after his playing days end.
Barker is focused on completing his senior year at McNary and then moving on to the next chapter in his life. His grade point average is over a 4.0 taking primarily honors and advanced placement classes.
“It’s been a long process to figure out where I’m gonna go, but I’m super confident I made the right decision,” Barker said.
McNary soccer standout signs with Webster University
McNary senior Kayla Evans signed to continue her soccer career at Webster University, a Division III school located in Webster Groves, Missouri.
The ceremony took place in the school’s cafeteria.
“McNary’s not the school that everybody looks up to (for girls soccer). It’s kind of underrated,” Evans said. “And to be able to show younger girls that you can accomplish things like playing your sport after high school, it just makes me feel really good.”
Evans likely will play forward in college.
ghorowitz@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6726 or Twitter.com/ghorowitz