In Episcopal‘s 30-21 win over Landon this fall, senior wide receiver Blake Barefoot pulled off the kind of play that looks like the product of pure good luck. On a short outside route, Barefoot came back to catch a pass from quarterback Will Hollister, and was nearly dragged down by a Landon defender as other Bear stoppers closed in for what looked like a sure-fire group tackle.
Barefoot shook off the first would-be tackler, who’d been clinging to the 6-foot, 184-pound receiver’s foot, but things still looked bleak as he charged into a pack of Landon defenders. Then, suddenly, he was breaking out of that pack and up the sideline, turning a nothing play into a big one.
Plays like that may seem more fortune than force, the result of a missed tackle here and a late opening there. But Episcopal Coach Panos Voulgaris knows better. Having watched Barefoot work on his precision and footwork and commit to “meticulous preparation” throughout his three-year career with the Maroon, Voulgaris knows it’s Barefoot’s work ethic that turned dismal situations into big plays, and that’s now earned him an Football Championship Subdivision scholarship to Georgetown, where he’ll look to break into the Hoyas’ rebuilding lineup.
“I went to a bunch of football camps trying to showcase my talent as much as possible,” Barefoot said. “Over the summer, I began to develop a great relationship with the Georgetown coaches. I ran into several of them at several camps, and that’s what got our relationship going…I would say over the past year and a half Georgetown has just always been number one on my list. I’ve wanted to play football for them more than anything.”
Barefoot, who also plays lacrosse for the Maroon, said he chose Georgetown because of “it’s fantastic location and a great vibe,” as well as a coaching staff “really dedicated to improving their program.”
“I think [the location] gives Georgetown more of an edge and makes it more competitive because it attracts people that want that city lifestyle,” Barefoot said. “I wasn’t quite as interested in being out in some remote area like some other players might be…I had a lot of options, but I preferred Georgetown all along, so when they offered, it wasn’t a difficult decision.”
Barefoot said his plan for his Georgetown career is much the same as the approach he took at Episcopal.
“I want to train as hard as possible,” he said. “I know all the other guys on the team are going to want to do that, too, to improve the program and come into every season bigger, faster, and stronger in the hope that the team can improve its record every year.”
Voulgaris said he has little doubt Barefoot will do his part to help the Hoyas do that.
“Blake doesn’t take days off: he goes all out whether it’s in the weight room or on the field,” Voulgaris said. “I anticipate that his approach and work ethic will put him in a position to contribute once he adapts to college football.”
Here are some of Barefoot’s highlights from his junior season at Episcopal.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 2
The number of games the Hoyas won in 2013, though they wrapped up the season with a 28-21 win over Holy Cross.
— No. 9 O’Connell upset No. 1 Paul VI in overtime last night.
— Friendship Collegiate star Jalen Tabor committed to Arizona a week ago. Now, he’s changed his mind, and is headed to the SEC.
— The National High School Invitational, held at Georgetown Prep for the past five years, has moved to a slightly bigger venue: Madison Square Garden.
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
Check out highlights and interviews from O’Connell’s big win over Paul VI.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
It’s a big night in Virginia boys’ basketball as top 20 hopeful Robinson heads to No. 19 Herndon and Freedom-Woodbridge takes on No. 5 Potomac (Va.).