Herbie Barber IV proudly represented the Choctaw Nation at this year’s Diamond West Coast All-American football game. The sixth-grader played for the Red Squad helping them to a 28-6 victory with his kicking ability.
He was credited with a 70-yard punt, 48 of that in the air. He also kicked two successful onside kicks.
“We did really good,” Herbie Barber tells ICMN of the January game held in Murrieta, California. “We didn’t get scored on until the third quarter.”
Herbie Barber’s father, Herbie III, says his son is the No.1-ranked sixth grade punter in the country according to the All-American officials and played in three All-American games this year.
He also recorded a video of his son Herbie Barber IV, kicking a football over a large airplane.
ICMN reached out to Herbie IV for an interview after learning of his kicking performance this month:
How big is football in your life?
This year has been a fun year for me in football. I was a member of the Los Angeles 7th Grade FBU national championship tournament team (as a 6th grader), Diamond All American West Coast 6th grade team. I am ranked No.1 in the nation by NCS for the class of 2023 for both punting and kicking. I was selected and will be playing in the DMAXX All American game in New York July 4th. I was selected for the U.S. National Team Development Camp to play on the U.S. National team against other countries in December of 2017 and Feb 2018. I was also selected to play in the NUC All American Game in December in Florida and the All World International Games after that. It is going to be a very busy year for me. I am honored to be selected for so many games and camps but my home team comes first.
I play for the EastSide Lions in the PYFL in southern California and if we have a game on those weekends or are in the playoffs then they come first. I play in the Junior Division and this year will be a big step as I am going to play quarterback on offense and tackle on defense as well as my kicking and punting duties.
What was it like to play in the All-American game?
It was fun because I got to meet kids and make new friends from all over the United States. I got to be a kicker/punter only for the first time instead of having to play a lot of other positions.
What do you love about football?
That I get to meet a lot of people that I regularly would never have the chance to meet and travel to places that normally I wouldn't. I have done a lot for a kid my age.
How did you do in the game?
I had a total of six kickoffs and one punt. The best part is we only had two days of practice and we played as a team and all got along and won.
What are your goals?
To graduate with good grades and go to college and have a good career and life. I want to go to college even if I don't play sports. I think I want to be a geologist and explore caves and rock forms.
Cary Rosenbaum (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a correspondent for Indian Country Media Network. Follow him on Twitter: @caryrosenbaum