When Sam Barry said yes on Saturday, he said yes for the rest of his life.
That’s the power of accepting an football athletic scholarship offer from the United States Air Force Academy. The Grapevine senior quarterback realized the Falcons were pretty serious because of the constant contact they had with him.
Even though he didn’t have an offer when he went to the Academy for its final camp last Friday in Colorado Springs, Colo., he believed it was worth taking the risk.
A short conversation with Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun on Friday led to call on Saturday morning. Calhoun offered. Barry verbally committed on the spot. It’s a Division I opportunity. Barry is being recruited as a quarterback.
“They kept telling me they were interested when they watched me in spring football,” he said. “But when I got a call from coach Calhoun back then, that’s when I knew this was different. This is going to be an awesome experience.”
Like any recruit, the uncertainty of the 5-year military commitment following graduation creates hesitation. But by the time he talked with Calhoun, he felt secure in his path. Conversations with other cadets affirmed he could handle this kind of life.
Barry will be in rare company. Consider the Air Force, Naval and Military academies are home to roughly 13,000 young men and women. You are nominated by a U.S. Congressperson as part of the process.
After military life, these young men and women have an advantage over many others. Even if Barry doesn’t choose a military career, he would be open to a world of different possibilities. As of now, becoming a pilot is one of those. His father Hank Barry flew in the Air Force.
“I know that first year is going to be tough,” Barry said. “But every guy I talked with said coming here was the best decision of their lives. They never regretted it.”
Morrison reflects on USA basketball experience
Carroll girls basketball coach Teri Morrison won’t credit a day at Starbucks for getting her to become a court coach for the USA Basketball U17 women’s team between May 22-26 in Colorado Springs.
But it probably didn’t hurt when she visited with USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan back in the early part of the year. Morrison went up to Boulder, Colo., to watch the University of Colorado’s women’s team play and ran into Callan.
Small talk turned into a three-hour discussion over basketball at nearby Starbucks on a Saturday morning. Coaches who are picked to coach these teams don’t do it through a nomination process or apply. It’s just a question of meeting people, having your name circulated and then making a good impression.
Morrison had little time to rest when working with the 80-plus hopefuls between stringent skills work and games.
“I had a great time because I got to do what I love – coach basketball,” she said. “It is competitive as it can be. You are coaching on the fly. It was such an honor to do this.”
Morrison can’t lobby for it. But if Callan and her staff liked what Morrison did, then future invitations are possible.
“I took a lot back with me and that I already gave the girls for the upcoming season,” Morrison said. “It was just learning about a different way of running practices and motivating kids.”
Morrison can feel good about her work. The U17 team won the FIBA World Championships that ran June 28-July 6 in the Czech Republic. Team USA went 7-0 and beat Spain in the championship, 77-75.
To honor the late Ted Brevelle, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District should name the football field at Mustang-Panther Stadium after him.