LYNN — Lynn Tech’s David Barrios is ready to take control on the gridiron this season.
Entering his second season as the starting quarterback at Tech, the senior signal caller is stepping into somewhat of a new role with the Tigers this year: playmaker. For the past few years, Tech has had the benefit of handing the ball to running backs Steffan Gravely or Keoni Gaskin, both of whom are now playing college football (Gravely at UMass Dartmouth and Gaskin at Franklin Pierce). With those two having graduated this past spring, Tech coach James Runner knows that more of the offensive burden will fall on the shoulders of his experienced quarterback.
“This is David’s third year playing quarterback for us and his second year starting, and he had a breakout year last year,” said Runner. “He stepped up and played really well for us when we needed it and I’m confident he’s going to be able to continue that for us this year.”
Barrios is also confident as he prepares for his senior season.
“I’m feeling pretty confident in myself and the other guys because of the amount of work we’ve put in over the summer,” Barrios said. “Now it’s just a matter of getting out on the field and put into action all the stuff we’ve been working on, and I think we’re all ready to do that.”
Runner was also quick to point out that while Barrios has made strides as a passer (he threw for 900 yards in 2017) and will utilize the passing game more often this year, the senior can also use his legs to make plays.
“He can run, man,” Runner said. “David’s a 110-meter hurdler and a sprinter in track. He’s been putting in a lot of work over the summer, getting his speed drills done and he’s going to be a game changer for us this year.”
Adding to the load on Barrios’ shoulders is the fact that he’s one of four team captains this year. A leader on the field and in the classroom, Barrios will have no trouble in that role for the Tigers, according to Runner.
“Playing the positions that he plays, David has to take on a leadership role as it is so it won’t be as much of a leap for him to have to make,” Runner said. “He’s a guy who has been on this team, knows that we’re about and knows how to communicate that to the other guys.”
Oh, and did we mention he plays defense too?
Barrios is the starting safety for the Tigers and has led the team in interceptions over the past three seasons. An aggressive playmaker and a sure tackler, Barrios allows other defenders to play a bit more freely when they know that he has them covered on the back end.
“He’s a smart kid and he has a good nose for the ball,” Runner said. “And man, he is aggressive out there. He takes care of a lot of things back there and also helps put guys into position, so he means a lot to us on that side of the ball.”
And as if that’s not enough, there’s also the fact that Barrios is being recruited to play college football. His 4.4 GPA at Tech means that he can pretty much go wherever he wants, as evidenced by the fact that he’s been on a trip to Harvard University and is on the radar of Columbia University’s football program. He’s also being looked at by Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
“He’s the number one student here at Tech and has a 4.4 GPA, so his opportunities are really broad,” said Runner. “He won a national championship with the Skills USA team here at Tech, his SAT scores are great, and he’s just a winner. He really has a lot of options.”
Barrios realizes the magnitude of the opportunity he has and he’s thankful for it. He said he has every intention of proving he’s worthy to play at the next level.
“The whole process is a little bit overwhelming right now because you know nothing is a sure thing yet,” Barrios said of the recruiting process. “It’s going well though, and I’m excited to see what’s next.”
As for the upcoming season, Barrios is excited about what the senior-laden Tigers can accomplish this year. After a deep run in the MIAA state tournament and an MVADA Small championship in 2017, expectations are high at Tech this year.
“We have a lot of great players this year, and we just have to focus on incorporating all of our athletes when we play,” said Barrios. “We can be a very versatile team, so bringing a different weapon out each game would keep teams off balance and give us a good chance to be successful out there.”