In the hopes of reminding people what it takes to claim Bulldog pride, we're going to touch base with all six Mexico High School football assistant coaches in no particular order, the first of which is Adam Barnett.
With a masters degree in teaching from Columbia College under his belt, Barnett's role with this team is to coach the offensive and defensive lines. Off the field he's married to Jennifer Kelly-Barnett and has a daughter named Kelly Lynn and a bulldog named Hank.
As a 2002 graduate of Mexico and a former Bulldog Barnett definitely has the credentials to hold his current position. Because he also played defensive line at Lindenwood University, the fact he's part of Haag's staff just makes sense.
"(Playing football I) learned how to work with people you may not always get along with, but all have the same goal," said Barnett. "Same as with working, I don't get along with everyone I work with but we are all here to help educate kids and try to prepare them for the world. Putting in work to get good results. I learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable and not to complain because it never did any good. (I try and) make the best out of any situation. Do the best with what you have."
While at Mexico Barnett found success on the gridiron, as well as on the wrestling mat. While that might make his initial relationship with the program somewhat varied, now a days his Bulldog pride follows a much more direct path.
"Steve (Haag) hired me, so that's really him why I am a part of the program," Barnett said. "We all get along really well with each other. I would say we all have a good time coaching with each other."
Chapter two- Travis Blevins
Even though Blevins has an incredibly deep coaching resume' that includes eight years of head coaching experience, he also has a son who plays for the eighth grade team. The end result of all that is he spends time contributing to every level of the high school and middle school football programs.
"I don't have any official responsibilities with the middle school program, but having been a head coach and wanting to develop programs, which is what (head coach) Steve (Haag) stands for and cares about, I enjoy working with this staff, as well (as the varsity staff)," said Blevins. "I like helping these guys and the kids any way I can."
As is often the case, coaching is a pursuit of passion for Blevins because of the life lessons he learned from this game. Now, because of all the positive opportunities and knowledge gained from his time on the gridiron, he draws true satisfaction from passing along everything that's right about playing football.
"This game provided the opportunity for me as a young person to display the characteristics my parents gave me, as well as teachers and coaches I was influenced by," Blevins said. "I do love the game and I enjoy watching it and working with young people. Watching them grow and watching them in those moments when they may have difficulties and see them overcome and improve."
Now entering his second season with the Bulldogs, Blevins was previously the head coach at Parkway South for seven or eight years. Prior to that he also spent three or four years calling the offensive plays for Jefferson City and was the defensive coordinator at North Callaway for five years.
"I've been coaching for what will be 21 years next year. I've been with a couple good programs, a lot of success," said Blevins. "Prior to coming to Mexico I was the principal at Auxvasse Elementary for three years and I love that community. It's where I moved as a young kid. My parents and a lot of my family are still in that community, which is why we moved back from St. Louis. My kids are getting bigger and we wanted to be back home and around family."
While Blevins title with the program is varsity assistant coach, his specific duties have him working with the running backs and linebackers. That means providing support to fellow Mexico assistant coaches Ken Grubb and Andy Baker both during the week and on game day from the press box and on the headsets.
"I believe in youth sports and activities. I think you have an opportunity to be a parent, to be a coach, a referee or a player and you should choose one and do it to the best of you ability," Blevins said. "I have four children myself and it's not easy sometimes, but I'm passionate about helping young people become adults."