Central tabs Barnes as new football coach

By DONNELL COLEY
Sports editor
Posted 3/21/22

Harnett Central High School’s football team will have new leadership for the upcoming season.

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Central tabs Barnes as new football coach

Posted

Harnett Central High School’s football team will have new leadership for the upcoming season.

Harnett County Schools approved Cory Barnes to take over as head coach during its regular meeting Monday.

Barnes served in the same role for Midway the past four seasons, posting a 23-18 record with two state playoff appearances.   

“We were able to make football a bigger deal at Midway ... I couldn’t be happier with what we’ve done,” Barnes said in a phone interview with The Daily Record.

“We had some good leaders in our program that bought into the ‘Raider Way’ ... it was as good as I thought it would be — and even more.”

Midway (6-5) is fresh off its third straight winning season, a record-setting 2021-22 campaign that saw the group post 446 total points including a program-best 80 during the opener at Hobbton.

Barnes also helped Raiders quarterback Wyatt Holland set a state record and leave as the school’s all-time leading passer, byproducts of his spread attack that he hopes will be just as effective at the 3A level.

“I think it’ll translate well. What we’re doing is just a different version of what they’ve (Central) done the past 20 years,” he said.

“Hopefully we can make things simple for them so they can play fast.”

A Triton football alum, Barnes says the decision to return to Harnett County was made easier after already having family in the area. He also highlighted the growth in that part of the county, as well as support from Central principal Catherine Jones, in what ultimately became a  “no-brainer.”

“We are excited about Cory Barnes and the new energy he will bring to Harnett Central through our football program,” Jones said in a phone interview Monday. 

“His record at Midway speaks for itself ... it’s going to be a great start to the new school year.”

The Trojans are coming off a 2-7 season under Matt Migliore, who served as head coach for the past five seasons.

Barnes says he’s familiar with Central’s culture and has seen film on some of the team’s anticipated returners. He added that no positions are solidified to this point and that competition will be paramount heading into the spring and summer.

“The hope for our team is, we’re gonna put a good product on the field ... and we’re gonna be playing in games that matter,” Barnes said.

“I’m excited about that and I want our program to be excited about that. It’s gonna take a lot of hard work and we need to make sure that we put that work in across the board to be successful.”

Donnell Coley can be reached at dcoley@mydailyrecord.com or 910-230-2040.

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