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UNC lacrosse commit finds immediate success for Sacred Heart Prep football

Paul Barton has 90-plus receiving yards in his first two football games. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Paul Barton has 90-plus receiving yards in his first two football games. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

As Sacred Heart Prep senior quarterback Teddy Purcell has been around Paul Barton, he’s known just what he could do on the football field.

Barton, a senior athlete at Sacred Heart Prep who is committed to the University of North Carolina for lacrosse, has the size for football. He’s 6’5” and over 200 pounds, looking like your prototypical receiver and/or tight end at the next level.

Purcell and Barton would watch football together all year. They would hangout a ton.

So, Purcell popped the question.

“I’m like, ‘Bro, why aren’t you playing? You love football so much. You love all these different receivers that are playing in the NFL. Why don’t you play?’” Purcell said. “He’s like, ‘Alright, alright.’ And then he decided to play. It’s just been so helpful for our team, and I love it.”

Once Barton decided to finally give the sport a try, he and Purcell immediately did everything they could together to bolster Sacred Heart Prep football even more after a trip to the Central Coast Section semifinals a year ago.

For three consecutive months, they were going into Purcell’s garage every day, where they put the weights together and lifted with some friends. Then, they would go throw and develop a greater chemistry.

Through Barton’s first two games, Purcell was proven right and then some, watching Barton’s success translate into incredible things for not only himself, but also the Gators.

Sacred Heart Prep is 2-0, outscored opponents 66-12 and just gave the senior class its first-ever win over Burlingame with a 17-0 victory on Saturday. And much of this early success can be attributed to Barton and what he’s done.

Barton’s first-ever varsity contest was a four-catch, 98-yard and two-touchdown effort in a 49-12 drubbing of Aragon, followed by a seven-catch, 99-yard and one-touchdown performance versus Burlingame. 

“I think just Teddy,” Barton said. “I just run around, get open and then he’ll put it wherever it needs to be. I’ve just got to catch that for him.”

While Barton credits everything to the people around him, Purcell knows exactly why he’s already a star in everything he does.

“He’s a stud,” Purcell said. “He’s just an overall unreal athlete. He’s committed for lacrosse, but I tried to get him out here. He’s one of my best friends to come play with me. I feel so lucky to be able to throw to a 6-5, 205 pounds, whatever he is, be able to run like that. It’s just incredible. Amazing athlete.”

Soon, Barton will continue what is an extensive family legacy at the University of North Carolina.

His father played football there. His sister, Anna Barton, is a sophomore defender on the women’s lacrosse team after being a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-America selection in high school at Woodside Priory.

“It’s a blessing,” Barton said. “I know a lot of kids don’t get the chance to play at the college level, and every day I come out and I’m thankful just to have this opportunity to play sports and also go on to the next level.”

It’s been quite the journey for Barton, who is grateful for everything coming his way and how the work he’s put in has translated into the sports realm.

“Probably my dad has helped me a lot and then some of my lacrosse coaches have helped me get through youth sports and everything,” Barton said. “Just the Riekes Center helped me a lot. I used to workout there. I put on 25 pounds, and then the rest is kind of history.”

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