Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sports Person of the Week

Barlage Brings Home All-SCC Honors for Grizzlies

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Eddie Barlage made his presence felt with the Guilford football team this season. A senior captain, Eddie earned All-SCC honors and tallied a team-best 68 tackles on the year. Photo courtesy of Eddie Barlage

Eddie Barlage made his presence felt with the Guilford football team this season. A senior captain, Eddie earned All-SCC honors and tallied a team-best 68 tackles on the year. (Photo courtesy of Eddie Barlage)

Eddie Barlage was as integral of a member of the Guilford football team as any athlete during the 2021 campaign in which the Grizzlies finished 6-4 overall.

A senior captain and outside linebacker, Eddie was one of six Guilford players to earn All-SCC honors, and he couldn’t have been happier with how his final season concluded.

“I started playing football in 7th grade,” says Eddie. “Playing backyard football with my friends was definitely one of the most fun things I did growing up, so I decided to go out for the real thing. I feel like this season went really well as a whole, and I have high hopes for next year’s team. I feel that we seniors have done the right things to put the program in a great position for the future.”

In Eddie’s 10 games played, he earned a team-best 68 tackles and averaged nearly eight tackles per game. Eddie was also first in forced fumbles with two and tied for third in sacks with three.

“The best part about the sport is the competition,” says Eddie. “I love competing, especially in football because it exemplifies all the areas I pride myself in, including athleticism and mental toughness. One of my favorite moments from this season came against Branford. It was far from my best game statistically, but it was amazing to see my teammates play their hearts out and come away with a big victory.”

Eddie credits Coach Salvati for helping him grow as a player. The senior captain says Coach Salvati is one of the smartest coaches he’s had the chance to work with.

“Coach Salvati and I have a great relationship where we joke around when appropriate, but also understand when it’s time to work,” says Eddie. “When Coach Salvati got to Guilford, I was very impressed with his knowledge of the game. That’s a feeling that I still have today. More importantly, I admire how he cares for all the players and goes out of his way to help us when we need it.”

Coach Salvati describes Eddie as one of the hardest workers both on and off the field, and a true mentor to all of his teammates.

“Eddie is the epitome of hardest worker in the room,” says Coach Salvati. “He has worked non-stop, 365 days a year to accomplish his goals and become a leader and captain of this team. To see him grow both on and off the field over the past three years has been one of my biggest highlights as a coach. His leadership and presence on the field and in the locker room will be greatly missed.”

Aside from football, Eddie is also a captain on the Guilford wrestling team, which is off to a 1-0 overall start to its winter campaign. The Grizzlies bested Morgan 54-12 in their opening meet of the season.

“I give lots of credit to wrestling for my success as a football player,” Eddie says. “Wrestling introduced me to great physical and mental challenges that I had to overcome.

“Wrestling develops a mindset that I think is hard to get from other sports,” he adds. “The mindset is to be intense and to push through pain while also respecting your opponent. Wrestling definitely gave me the mental edge over my opponents on the field.”

Above all, Eddie was ecstatic he and his teammates were able to complete an entire football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wasn’t worried about playing through the coronavirus, rather grateful for the opportunity,” says Eddie. “After seeing all of the seniors last year go without their last season, I appreciated the opportunity to play even more.”


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