Barry McNamara  |   Published November 16, 2015

Elite 20

Barnes is top student-athlete at Midwest Conference football championship
  • Junior Matt Barnes (Colfax, Illinois) is the Midwest Conference Elite 20 award winner.
Even before Monmouth College and St. Norbert met for the Midwest Conference football crown last Saturday, Monmouth linebacker Matt Barnes was declared a winner when the league proclaimed the junior the conference’s Elite 20 winner.
  Modeled after the NCAA’s Elite 90 academic award, the MWC’s Elite 20 award is presented to the student-athlete at the league championships having the highest grade point average. Barnes, a business and Spanish double major from Colfax, Ill., carried the best GPA among more than 200 student-athletes involved in the title game.   “Matt is a model representative of our football program both on and off the field,” said head coach Chad Braun. “He is first and foremost a strong student in the classroom. Matt has very high expectations for himself and sets the bar high for everything that he accomplishes both on and off the field.”
The second leading tackler in the Midwest Conference, Barnes was the leading tackler for a Fighting Scots program that was top 10 in the nation in total defense, yielding only 88 rushing yards per game. In the championship game, Barnes led the Scots with 15 tackles. For the season, he recorded team highs of 98 tackles and 50 solo stops.

Barnes is active in community service, having been heavily involved with the football team’s community-wide cleanup day. He has also volunteered in area elementary and middle schools.

He is the son of Robert and Kathleen Barnes of Colfax.
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