Teenagers usually take their mothers for granted.
Mom's unconditional deeds often go without thanks, and children don’t learn about the sacrifices of their parents until they grow up.
York Suburban’s Garth Barclay surely doesn’t understand what it takes to be a parent, but he is aware of how much his mom means to him.
The junior offensive lineman has received eight NCAA Division I football offers so far, and the first person he thanks is his mom.
“She’s been amazing with providing me with everything,” Barclay said. “I couldn’t have done any of this without my parents supporting me.”
Barclay has received D-I offers from William & Mary, Lafayette, Temple, Massachusetts, Central Michigan, Connecticut (coached by Susquehannock grad Randy Edsall), Buffalo and Fordham.
“I’m really blessed to receive all these offers,” said Barclay, who was a first-team York-Adams Division II coaches all-star last season at both offensive tackle and defensive end.
Let’s eat: Barclay doesn’t look like the typical D-I offensive lineman — at least not yet. He’s got the height. Barclay was 6-foot, 3-inches tall as a freshman and now stands at 6-7.
What he doesn’t have quite yet is the weight. He weighs in at around 250 pounds. That’s where his mother comes into play.
Barclay has gained 70 pounds since his freshman year, and he said it’s all “good” weight. His mom has tracked his weight gain since he got to high school — he’s gained four pounds a month in the last year and a half — and makes sure he’s eating well.
“They’re always very adamant about eating my veggies,” Barclay said with a laugh. “My brother and I can split a gallon of milk over dinner.”
Good genes: His mom doesn’t just provide him with motherly support and food. She, along with his father, obviously gave Garth — and his brother Gavin, who is a starting offensive lineman at Lafayette — good genes.
“Genetics also help,” said Barclay, who also plays lacrosse for the Trojans. “Both of my grandfathers are tall, too.”
Garth's father, Pete, is 6-8 and played football at Princeton. Kate was also an athlete, competing on the rowing team at Princeton. Gavin Barclay, meanwhile, stands at 6-6 and weighs in at 310 pounds for the Leopards.
“It runs in the family,” said Suburban head coach Andy Loucks of the Barclays’ athletic prowess.
Weight training: Garth’s work in the weight room is also crucial to him putting on weight. He started doing CrossFit when he was 9 years old. Now, he trains with Ali Johnson at Max-I-Mus Performance & Fitness in York to work on his athleticism.
“Coach Ali has helped with my footwork and speed and agility,” Garth said.
Loucks said Garth’s work ethic is the reason he’s receiving D-I interest.
“He’s pound for pound one of the strongest kids on our team,” Loucks said of his towering Trojan. “His technique on the lifts are perfect. He’s spent a lot of time in the offseason in getting better.”
Brotherly competition: What helps Garth, Loucks said, is he has a role model in his older brother Gavin, who is a two-year starter at right tackle for Lafayette. Gavin was a senior at Suburban when Garth was a freshman, and Loucks said the two have a “classic brother relationship.”
“(Gavin) beat up on him like any brother would,” Loucks said. “It forced Garth to grow up quicker. Gavin was a hard worker too, and that rubbed off on Garth. That motivated him to work just as hard, or harder, than Gavin did.”
Garth said he and his brother still compete at everything they do.
“Everything has to be a competition. If it’s not, then it’s not worth doing,” Garth said. “My brother has always been a role model for me. While we’ve always been competitors, he’s always been one of my best friends.”
Not a finished product: What’s attractive about Garth as a prospect, Loucks said, is that he’s not yet close to peaking.
“Wherever he goes, he’s going to get better physically and technically,” Loucks said. “When I was recruiting for colleges, that was something we always took into account. We wanted to know if they were a finished product or if they could continue growing for us. … They know he’s only going to get better when they get a hold of him.”
Garth said every coach who has talked to him has talked about “potential.”
“I’ve found that coaches have a vision of what the player can be, and they know how to work someone,” Garth said. “I still have a lot of work to do.”
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.