EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 4th chapter in a 13-part series saluting the 2020 Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame class.
JEROMESVILLE -- Brent Barr was born and raised in Jeromesville as the youngest son of John and Linda Barr.
His entire family has a love for sports. His older brother Chris would often bring him along to play giving him the opportunity to compete against much older competition. He was always competing in baseball, basketball or any other sport that was played at Lewis Memorial park in Jeromesville.
Brent’s varsity playing career began when he started three games as a freshman tight end for head coach Don Meyers. After recovering from an injury that forced him to miss half his freshman season, Brent was able to crack the varsity lineup and help the Falcons basketball team to the district finals in 1991. Brent also achieved success as a versatile member of the track team. He excelled in the high jump hurdles and anywhere else coach Tim Sword needed him.
As a sophomore, he was Hillsdale’s leading receiver at tight end and took over the kicking duties as well earning second-team all league. His sophomore basketball season would begin much the same way. He broke his wrist in a scrimmage and was unable to play until the Hillsdale was off to a 1-8 start. But soon they righted the ship and were 12-8 heading into the tournament where the Falcons lost to eventual state champion Orrville.
He was the team’s MVP, leading scorer and rebounder; earning him first-team all-league honors. As a junior; receiver, kicker and linebacker Brent earned first-team for football. That season was highlighted with an upset of No. 1-ranked and undefeated Dalton, ending their 18-game winning streak.
As a junior Brent was able to stay healthy averaging over 17 points and 12 rebounds per game on the basketball court. He garnered first-team all-league for the second straight season. He also posted a career high of 36 points against Tuslaw. He was among the area leaders for assists, blocked shots and steals earning him Times Gazette 1st-team honors as well.
Brent’s senior football season led to more first-team league and Times-Gazette honors. In addition, he was the Wayne County Athletic League’s first recipient as the special team’s MVP. The Falcons had their first winning season in over a decade and were the beginning of the program’s turnaround.
Brent’s senior basketball season saw him average over 19 points and 12 rebounds a game. In a game against New London he set school records for rebounds (21) and blocked shots (11) and was one assist away from a quadruple double. He led his team to the district tournament with an exciting overtime win vs Loudonville in the sectional finals.
Brent ended his career with team MVP honors for the third straight season. He was first-team all league and chosen as the Times Gazette Player of the Year in 1994. He earned a scholarship to play at Mount Vernon Nazarene College, helping the Cougars earn the school’s first trip to the National Tournament.
After transferring to Mount Union he was a part of the most successful basketball team in school history making it to the Sweet “16”. Brent also rekindled his love for football playing for the undefeated 1996 National Champion Purple Raiders.
Brent would like to thank all of his high school coaches for instilling compassion, work ethic and character, especially Jerry Miller and Lynn Wess, his varsity football and basketball coaches. They were such an inspiration and the major reason he became a teacher and coach himself. Brent has been a teacher and coach with the Kenston Local School District for over 21 years.
Brent resides in Chagrin Falls with his wife Leeanna and his two children, Adam and Julianna. He would like to thank the Hillsdale community for all the support they have given to him and especially his biggest fans, his parents John and Linda Barr.