Players of the Pine Belt: Taylorsville's Shamar Barnes

Players of the Pine Belt: Taylorsville's Shamar Barnes

Taylorsville, MS (WDAM) - Last year, Chuck Robertson coached Taylorsville to a 4-7 record in his first season at the helm.

Robertson and the Tartars hope that one year together leads to an improved 2017 campaign.

"The second year, it's a lot more fun," Robertson said. "First year, you don't know what you're going to get into. You don't know what you have coming back, you don't know exactly what to expect. So, just getting to know the kids is a big step the second year."

"Last year was a very hard year for us I can say," said Taylorsville senior Shamar Barnes. "We really weren't prepared like we are this year. This year, we are very ready to play whoever."

Barnes is one of the more experienced Tartars this season, after Taylorsville graduated just three seniors from the 2016 team.

"Shamar Barnes has come a long way," Robertson said. "He is a great kid. When I first got here, he had a tendency to be a little lazy. He's actually outgrown that a little bit. He's actually stepped up and become one of our team leaders."

Playing nose guard and tackle, Barnes prides himself on playing in the trenches and chasing after quarterbacks.

"I really love it because I just love the bull rush and stuff like that," Barnes said. "I love to make plays."

"He really gets after the quarterback," Robertson said. "He's a big kid, he runs really well. He's the one that's bought in. He understands what we try to do defensively. He knows that being a defensive tackle, nose guard, that he has to give up himself to let our linebackers run free and he does that probably better than anybody I've been around in a long time."

Barnes has received scholarship offers from a number of junior college programs as he hopes to play after high school. But for now, Barnes is focused on doing whatever he can to help Taylorsville in 2017.

"I'm just trying to lead my team to a lot of victories and maybe to state," Barnes said.

"The goal is the playoffs and to south state and state," Robertson said. "They understand that they have to make sure to prepare every week no matter what happened last week."