LAMPASAS — When Cody Crofoot, Josh Barbero and Justin Sooter step on the campus of Howard Payne next year, at least they’ll know someone already.
Crofoot, Barbero and Sooter all committed to play their respective sports for the Yellow Jackets in Brownwood starting next year. Barbero is a highly-decorated goal keeper who earned second-team Daily Herald All-Area honors, as well as first-team all-district.
He plans to become a math teacher and go back home to Lampasas to teach.
“I really want to enjoy my time in college and learn all that I can so that when I come back to teach I can coach, too,” Barbero said.
With which his coach Ryan Race quipped, “Yeah, you can be my assistant.”
“Maybe for the first year, but I’ll take over after that,” Barbero replied.
Crofoot was averaging five tackles a game for the Badger football team this past season before an MCL tear ended his season early. But the injury is far behind the former Badger standout.
“I am 100 percent ready to go,” Crofoot said. “I worked hard to get back and now it’s time to look forward. I’m so excited right now.”
Sooter will bring his fastball to Brownsville to pitch but he may also see time at other positions as well.
“I’m going to pitch, but they are also talking about playing at first base a little bit,” said Sooter. “But really I just want to be able to get stronger and learn more.”
All three athletes are happy to be able to go to school with each other but neither was worried about the prospects of being away from Lampasas. To a man, they all agreed that they can always take the 2-hour trip home if they needed to but doubted it would ever get that bad.
“I’m pretty good at making friends so I don’t see a problem with being away,” said Crofoot echoing the sentiments of his soon-to-be fellow Yellow Jackets.
Plus, they will know a few people in Brownwood, too.