DHS senior commits to Wyoming to continue athletic career

Senior+Nate+Barnhart+poses+for+a+photo+with+his+future+mascot+during+a+visit+to+the+University+of+Wyoming+on+Oct.19.

Senior Nate Barnhart poses for a photo with his future mascot during a visit to the University of Wyoming on Oct.19.

Lynlee Hutchison, Editor in Chief

With winter sports on their way, one of De Soto High School’s own makes the decision to take his  athletics to the next level.

Senior basketball player Nate Barnhart announced that he would be continuing his athletic and academic career at the University of Wyoming on Oct. 20.

“I was so excited to finally say the words that I was committing,” Barnhart said. “Playing basketball at the next level has been a goal of mine forever.”

Not only did being in a mountainous region cause Barnhart to feel at home at Wyoming but the early-on connection he made with the program. 

  “What made me decide to commit to Wyoming was a lot of things, the coaching staff really stood out,” Barnhart said. “Me and all the coaches have developed such a special relationship through my recruiting period.”

DHS head coach Matt Rice acknowledges that all of Barnhart’s passion and skill lead him to this accomplishment. 

“He has an excellent feel for the game, sees the floor very well, an excellent passer and yet one of his greatest attributes is that he is a 7-foot shooter. That’s just hard to find,” Rice said. 

After years of hard work and devotion to the game, it is no shock that Barnhart was capable of moving forward with his basketball career.

“He deserves it. The kid has put in a ton of work since he decided to make a commitment to basketball. He is working hard all the time and gotten into the right AAU programs, weight rooms and in the gym to where he has just gotten better and better,” Rice said. “I am just excited for him because I think he has definitely earned it.”  

Although this process was exciting, COVID-19 did lead Barnhart to run into some unforeseen obstacles when it came to campus visits and other recruiting communication. 

“COVID really hit hard for the recruiting process, and not just for me, but for every 2021 kid,” Barnhart said. “It [COVID] made it so I could not go on official visits and talk to the coaches and players in person.”

Also excited to hear the news, Barnhart’s DHS teammates are more than proud of him and are ready to cheer him on.

“I’m confident that Nate will fit right in with the players at Wyoming. He is very easy going and is always an enjoyable person to be around,” said senior basketball player Wyatt Noll . “He is a very hard worker, and I’m excited to see what he is able to accomplish at Wyoming and beyond.”

With such a talented player, Rice and the DHS boys’ basketball team hopes to maximize their upcoming season, making a return to the State tournament. 

“Basketball is a team sport so for his class in general. I want to see them have a lot of success,” Rice said. “We had a lot of success last year making it into the State tournament, but I know they [boys basketball team] were not satisfied with that; so for Nate, and especially his senior teammates, I just want to see them have a great season with a lot of success.” 

With the 2020-21about to begin, Barnhart’s achievement will start the boys’ basketball season on a positive note, as the team will begin training to fulfill the season to their highest potential.