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Sports Spotlight: Reece Barnhardt

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 6:15 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Reece Barnhardt was one of the best Class-AA linebackers in the state this fall. St. Mary’s went undefeated in route to another State Championship and Barnhardt earned first-team All-State honors on defense.

Now Barnhardt turns his attention to the wrestling mat and he’s the subject of this week’s Sports Spotlight.

Barnhardt is a three-time state champion wrestler. This year his plan is to make St. Mary’s history. He has the chance to become the Saints first to ever win four individual titles.

“I obviously want to win the fourth one, and I am going to work my butt off to do it. It’ll be pretty cool I guess, because there has been some pretty good kids that have come through here,” said Barnhardt, St. Mary’s senior.

With a number of new wrestlers in the program, Head Coach Luke Mellmer is relying on Barnhardt.

St. Mary’s Head Coach Luke Mellmer said, “He’s the best example I could ask for.”

Mellmer does his best to teach everyone in the room but if misses something, Barnhardt is there for his teammates.

“I could talk all day about Barnhardt! It’s nice to have him in the room and he is going to be missed at the end of the season but a lot of weight gets put on his shoulders. He’s a heck of a leader but that is kind of just in his blood. He’s one of the most coach able kids I have ever coached and to be honest he’s like having another coach in there. When you have a kid that can run warm ups or gather everybody on a weekend and do captains practices or do fun group activities I mean he’s just the man it’s hard to explain if you aren’t around him,” said Mellmer.

When Barnhardt graduates from St. Mary’s, his wrestling career will continue in college. He’ll stay right here in Bismarck and compete for the University of Mary.

“Really like the coaches. I like the teammates. I like the kids on the team. They got something going right now that’s pretty special and I wanted to be a part of that. I am close to home, it’s another Catholic school that I get to go to and I enjoy being a part of that and you can’t find coaching like that anywhere else,” said Barnhardt.

The Saints have their first dual of the season on Friday in Mandan.

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