NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -- When a sophomore is named the starting halfback on a football team, that, by itself, represents a huge accomplishment.
But not only was Charlie Barth put into that position for New Providence, but in his first game of the season, he was given the ball on the Pioneers' first five offensive plays. So much for easing the kid into his new role.
Barth gained 36 yards on those first five carries on Sept. 13. He went on to rush for 170 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries on opening night as New Providence defeated Dayton, 30-14.
Barth had his best game yet last Friday in a 42-28 victory over Belvidere. He carried 19 times for 301 yards and four touchdowns. His last carry of the game, a 37-yard jaunt down the left sideline, put him over 300 yards for the game and also enabled him to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards for the season.
Barth has 1,027 yards on 102 carries (more than 10 yards per attempt) and 14 touchdowns through his first six games. New Providence is 5-1 heading into this Friday night's home game against A.L. Johnson of Clark.
New Providence head coach Chet Parlavecchio Jr. said that Barth "has only scratched the surface of how good he can be."
Barth did see some varsity playing time as a freshman in 2018, carrying the ball 11 times for 66 yards. This season, he's also starting at one linebacker spot and making an impact on that side of the ball, as well.
Barth is the Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors Pioneer Athlete of the Week.
Earlier this week, Barth took time to respond to some questions from TAPinto New Providence.
Q: How much of an influence was your brother Hudson's football career on yours?
A: My older brother unfortunately chose to give up his college football career in order to pursue his major in physics as well as his dream of being a drummer, despite all the tremendous hours he spent to get himself into a D1 program. However, because I got to watch him grow as an athlete I was able to take away many things from his football career. One of which was his dedication and strong work ethic. Hudson was a smart kid and made it look easy when balancing his athletics with his academics. On top of that, Hudson paved the way for me to follow in his footsteps during my high school career. Since he always held high expectations for himself it made me want to do the same.
Q: Have you seen your game change since your last year?
A: There has definitely been a huge improvement in my level of play since last year. Despite getting a few varsity reps my freshman year it was, without a doubt, a big leap for me to step up as this year's starting running back. The main things I had to change/adjust were my levels of intensity throughout the game. For me, the speed of play definitely played a factor since it was now so much faster than before. However, I feel as though my coaches did a great job in getting me physically and mentally prepared for the role.
Q: What has been the best advice you have received from a coach?
A: I think the best advice I've received from a coach is to embrace the chaos and the uncomfortable because it is within the chaos and uncomfortable moments in life where the tools, processes, and mentality needed to succeed are buried.
Q: What has been your most memorable game to date?
A: The most memorable game to date (if we are talking exclusively in my high school career) would be last season's conference championship game against Brearley where the seniors took charge and led the team to a compelling victory in overtime. This game stuck with me because that whole season my coaches were emphasizing the need to prove that Pioneer football was back, after having several previous losing seasons, and by going 8-0 in the regular season topping it off with a conference championship title was incredible and exactly what we dreamed of.
Q: Did you expect you'd end up playing this big a role for the team as a sophomore?
A: Despite working nonstop in the offseason to improve my game for the varsity level, I never actually expected to be given such a big role at such an early stage in my game. However, I'm very grateful my coaches believed in me enough to trust me with such great responsibilities.
Q: You also made some big tackles behind the line on defense. Do you like playing defense as much as you do offense?
A: I feel as though I favor offense a little bit more than defense (ex. when training in the offseason) but that doesn't mean I have anything against playing defense. For me, defense is great because instead of taking the blow on every play, I get to deliver the blow.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: My favorite athlete to watch is Saquon Barkley. I've watch his career progress throughout his years at Penn State all the way to playing in the NFL on my favorite team. He is just fun to watch and I learn so many things on how to improve my own game when reviewing his film.
Q: Do you have a role model?
A: I would say my role model is my older brother, Hudson. As I mentioned earlier I have learned so many things from him and he leads a great example for me. Also, despite giving up football himself, he continues to follow my high school football career and support me as well as help me by reviewing my film and giving me key pointers to improve upon.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not playing a sport?
A: When I'm not playing a sport I like to find ways to constantly improve by pushing myself to put in the work every day, whether its training, staying close with family and friends, or keeping my grades up.
The Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors Pioneer Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors located at 64 Main Street in Chatham. Joe is a 25 year New Providence resident who is an active member of the New Providence community. Contact Joe anytime, whether it's to get started on helping you realize your real estate goals and dreams, or just to ask a question about the local market. Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-868-4800.