Vance Barnes led the Minnetonka football team with 640 rushing yards last season, but his senior year came to a bitter end in a disappointing 31-28 loss to Wayzata in the Class 6A section playoffs. Barnes isn’t done playing football, however, having recently committed to playing next year at St. Cloud State.
Barnes said he learned the recruiting process is “truly a business,” but he is looking forward to playing with Totino-Grace’s Kez Flomo, who is also headed to the Huskies after the pair met while attending a football camp.
Before heading to college in the fall, the 5-9, 181-pound running back will showcase his speed as a sprinter on Minnetonka’s track team this spring.
Barnes spoke with the Star Tribune’s Jack Satzinger about learning from the loss to Wayzata, playing multiple sports and what he expects heading into college.
Q: Why did you choose to play for the Huskies?
A: I just felt like it was a great fit for both me and my family. I also have the opportunity to play football and run track both, and I wanted to do two sports in college, so I felt like it was a great fit.
Q: What events do you run in track?
A: The 100 meters, 4-by-100 and I think I’m going to do the 200 meters this year, and I may long jump, possibly.
Q: What are the similarities and differences between running as a running back on the football field or being a sprinter on the track?
A: There are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. Differences I would say, obviously you’re relying on your offensive line and quarterback. As a sprinter, you’re just kind of on the track. Obviously, it helps as a running back with speed. That’s the biggest asset to me, so I think it helps a lot.
Q: You’re friends with Kez Flomo, who also just committed to St. Cloud State. Does it help knowing somebody you’re going to be playing with?
A: Yeah, I’m a pretty outgoing person. … I went down to the Rivals camp last year with Kez and we stayed in the same hotel room with two other people, and it was good to know each other and become good friends. I’ve been recruiting him pretty hard after I committed, and he felt like it was a great fit. I can’t wait to line up with him.
Q: What did you learn from the recruiting process?
A: That it’s a business. It’s truly a business. It’s a fun process altogether. Just the biggest thing is that it’s a business and you can never take anything personally — never count any school out. But also you go out there and have to protect yourself.
Q: Your football season at Minnetonka ended with a tough, unexpected loss to Wayzata. Was that pretty difficult for you to cope with?
A: Yeah, it was. The most difficult part was I know that me and my teammates gave it our all. It’s just, you know, a team has to lose. That’s just the game of football. One team has to lose and one team has to win. All week of practice we had a good practice coming up and we just came off beating them the previous week. That was the biggest thing for me, seeing guys who put so much work and effort into it, you know, not come out with the ‘W.’
Q: Is there anything you can take away from that game going into college?
A: I’ve taken a lot away from the season, not just that game. Specifically that game, with tough losses it’s how you deal with them afterwards. You get a lot of naysayers afterwards like ‘Oh, Minnetonka was a disappointing season.’ Team-wise it was, but you’ve just got to come back from that and work harder in the offseason.