Anthony Barnes graduated from high school in 1989.
His basketball coaching philosophy comes from the same era.
Barnes, 49, is the new boys basketball coach at Carroll County High School, where he replaces Tee Jackson who spent four years on the job.
In looking ahead to his new job, Barnes also is looking back.
“I’m more ‘old school’ from back in the 80s and the 90s,” the new coach said. “Play physical, put a lot of pressure on the ball, make a lot of contact, let them know that you are there.”
Barnes has worked in Carroll County’s middle school program and has been a local AAU coach for several years.
He said his familiarity with the Cavaliers’ current players motivated him to aspire to the varsity level.
“The group that’s there now and the groups that are behind them have come through me,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot of potential to turn things around and get the boys program back where it needs to be.”
Barnes already has conducted an open gym practice session with his prospective players. He plans to seek outside competition, whether it be at Roanoke’s Spectrum Sports Academy or elsewhere.
“The Spectrum has fired up. I’m going to take the guys and travel a little bit,” Barnes said. “If we have to go into South Carolina, we’re going to play somewhere. For us to be competitive, we’re going to have to travel.”
This week, the VHSL is expected to finalize its contest limitations and postseason schedule for compressed sports seasons shortened by COVID-19.
That’s if there is a season.
“It’s a possibility we may not have a season,” Barnes said on Saturday as news broke that Virginia Tech had postponed next week’s football game with Virginia. “It’s frustrating. I hate it for the seniors.
“With professional sports and how they’re handing it, I hope it drifts down and we can do this.”
Barnes, who works full-time as the VDOT supervisor in Pulaski County and owns a recreational rental business called River Junction Campground in Draper, has lined up his staff of assistant coaches.
Kris Richardson, the AAU director in Carroll County, will be a varsity assistant, along with former Cavaliers star Adam Horton. Casey Burcham will coach the JV program.
Carroll County, which competes in Region 3D, finished 12-10 overall and 8-4 in the Three Rivers District in Jackson’s final season.
Barnes graduated from Fort Chiswell High, where he was the leading scorer on the basketball team coached by the late Danny Jonas and the leading rusher on the football team under former coach John Wayne Martin.
“Those two guys really made an influence in my life, and that’s what I want to do with these kids,” he said. “I want to take a combination of John Wayne, and Danny Jones and Anthony Barnes and put it in a pot and hope these guys can get something from it.”
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