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October 14, 2013

Wildcat defensive duo strive to be ‘playmakers’

Getting to know Joshua Norwood and Tre Barrett

VALDOSTA — Playing football together since freshman year for the Valdosta High Wildcats ninth grade team, defensive backs Tre Barrett and Joshua Norwood have shown themselves to be a force in the secondary.

Currently both in their junior year at VHS, Barrett and Norwood are still making plays together  for a Wildcat team that is currently 4-2 on the season.

Norwood is a 16 year old, 6 foot, 170 lbs. cornerback who wears the number four on Friday nights for the ‘Cats. Barrett is a 17 year old, 6 foot 3 inch, 190 lbs. safety who sports the number three on game days.

Norwood was born and is being raised in Valdosta by his grandparents, Geneva Knight and Willie B. Knight. Norwood has been in his grandparent's care since his mother passed away in his early childhood. He has been playing football since the age of six and has played a copious amount of positions, including safety, tight end and running back.

Playing for VHS on their ninth grade team, Norwood was moved to the cornerback position and became the starter. When he moved up to the varsity roster his sophomore season, he became a starting corner for the VHS defense.

Barrett was born in Miami, Fla. and has been raised all his life by his mother and father, Melissa and Willie Barrett.

Barrett has played football since the age of 11 and has played linebacker, safety and quarterback in the past. Similar to his counterpart Norwood, Barrett came to VHS as a member of their ninth grade team where he started at safety. He became the starting safety his sophomore year for the ‘Cats varsity team and has started ever since.

Both players share a favorite subject in math, but differ in their least favorite, with Norwood disliking literature and Barrett not being a fan of history.

“I like dealing with numbers and solving problems. There is always an answer. I also like counting money,” said Norwood.

“I like math because I love a challenge,” said Barrett.

Norwood enjoys shrimp as his favorite food and his favorite movie is ‘300’.

His favorite color is oddly purple, not a usual choice for a football player, however the reason why is very intriguing.

“Its different. Everyone likes blue, black or red, but purple stands out too. I like loud colors so its perfect,” said Norwood.

If Norwood could have any superpower, he would pick super speed.

“I play corner and if you have great speed, then you can be a shut down corner. I already have good technique so having super speed would make me unstoppable,” said Norwood.

Norwood grew up watching Lowndes cornerback Greg Reid and has a lot of respect for him, even though Reid played for the ‘Cats sworn rivals.

“I like the way he plays. He has an ‘I’m the man’ attitude and is a shut down corner. I liked the way he played at Lowndes and grew up watching him. I want to be better than him, but he was a good player,” said Norwood.

Norwood also is a fan of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who is notorious for his on and off the field trash talk.

“He’s an aggressive player and loves talking junk. I like to talk to trash too. I love it. It’s a big part of my game. We are playing football and I don’t have feelings for anyone. I'm for my boys on the team only; you are going to get it anyway it goes,” said Norwood.

Norwood watches Alabama to get his dose of college football and enjoys riding dirt bikes for fun.

“I’m an outgoing person, and I believe i’m pretty smart. I have a good personality. Stuff people like, I don’t like, and what I like, a lot of people don’t like. It’s kind of weird sometimes,” added Norwood.

Barrett’s favorite color is blue, favorite food is pizza and his favorite movie is ‘Remember the Titans’.

When Barrett is not in football practice, he enjoys hanging with his friends, playing games and riding four wheelers.

“I'm an intelligent and outgoing person. I like to hang with others. I also like to help people out,” said Barrett.

If he could have any superpower, he would pick the ability to fly.

“I want to go above the clouds and see what’s up there. Being able to fly I would finally be able to do that,” said Barrett.

Growing up, Barrett looked up to two players for inspiration. The first is University of Miami and Baltimore Raven great, Ray Lewis. Barrett noted that he likes Lewis because he is a motivator. At the safety position, Barrett also looks up to Ed Reed.

“He’s very aggressive and a playmaker. I like how he reacts to the ball and keeps his team motivated. You never see him down,” said Barrett.

So what makes this duo better than the rest?

“We’re all about communication,” said Norwood. “We’re a good duo.”

Subtle differences between the two separate them as players on the field.

“I’m a lot shorter than Tre,” said Norwood. “Both of us are aggressive, but I am easily the more aggressive player. Tre is tall and long and makes interceptions because of his size.”

“We are definitely both aggressive players, but I will say that he (Norwood) got me beat just a little,” added Barrett. “Josh makes big time plays when they are needed. I’m a very tall safety and because of my length, I make a lot of pass breakups and plays.”

On the subject of Winnersville, the duo plans to not dwell on the past, but to look forward to the 2014 Winnersville Classic, which will be their last before going off to college. As it will be their senior year, the duo will have one last chance to defeat Lowndes in a Winnersville Classic for the first time since they have been together as Wildcats.

“We gotta keep working. Stay humble and keep working hard. When the time comes, we can’t freeze up. They got us this time but it’s going to be a different story next time,” said Norwood. “We have to make plays at big times and execute the whole game. We took some plays off and did not play hard through the whole game and it killed us.”

“The defense had a good game, but you can’t blame it on anyone, because we are a team. We just have to move on to the next game and get better,” said Barrett.

The chemistry the duo has on the field translates to their friendship. Having played together since ninth grade, it would not be surprising to see the duo be recruited by the same college and even attend the same school.

Watch Barrett and Norwood in the Wildcat secondary on Friday Oct. 18 on Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder stadium at 8 p.m. when they take on the Tift County Blue Devils in a region battle.


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