“I feel like I’m one of those people that lead by example,” said Barham. “It’s by the things that I do [and] the way I carry myself, it makes others want to follow me. I’ll be a vocal leader if need, but mostly I lead by example.”
Being a leader in whatever he’s involved with has been instilled in Barham at a very early age.
“My parents have pushed me to become a leader since I was young,” said Barham. “They told me not to be a follower, always be the first to do something. So that’s what I’ve tried to do. It was true in what they said once I do good in something people will want to follow me.”
Off the field, Barham is a 3.7-student and integrates community service into his everyday life.
“In my community, I tutor young children with the Sigma Beta Club, clean my school’s campus periodically, [and] volunteer at the Food Bank,” said Barham. “I have also served as an assistant with my school’s Basketball camp to mentor at-risk males.”
Given the aforementioned accomplishments matched with his leadership, it comes as no surprise that Barham has been named a nominee for the Carolina Panthers Community Captains program.
“It would mean a lot [to be named a Community Captain],” said Barham. “It would tell me that all my hard work has paid off. It would let me know that my parents have done a good job and that I’ve done a good job and I was successful.”
The Carolina Panthers Community Captains program will honor student-athletes that have exhibited outstanding leadership on the football field, in the classroom and in their communities. The first Community Captain will be announced on September 10th.
With Barham’s leadership and play at offensive tackle, Hillside is off to a 2-0 start to their season and have defeated their opponents by an average of 29.5 points.
“We have more confidence this year,” said Barham. “Every year it’s always the ‘Hillside Hype,’ but in past years we haven’t been able to live up to it. I think now we’re looking at living up to it. We have a lot of good players and it’s our senior year.”
The other good players include the likes of the state’s top recruit, wide out Greg Little, and North Carolina verbal commit safety Jonathan Smith.
Although quietly, Barham is a major recruit in his own right and has made a verbal commitment to Penn State. Last week, he made his first trip to Happy Valley.
“I talk to a couple of players, Coach [Joe] Paterno – it was great,” said Barham. “I loved the environment up there, the campus was great. I really couldn’t find any flaws. I knew I made a good decision as soon as I stepped on campus.”
Thus far, Barham has collected 12 pancake blocks for Hillside. He’s on task to surpass the 50 he accumulated during his junior season, which earned him second team all-area and honorable mention all-conference honors.