Local baseball star Matthew Barefoot had a successful redshirt freshman year at Campbell University, earning numerous accolades just like he did during his time at Midway High School.
While at Midway, Barefoot led his team to a 2014 State Championship. He finished his high school career batting .383, with three home runs, 101 hits, and an ERA of 1.15 to go with 110 strikeouts over 73 innings. In addition to being named 2014 State Championship MVP, he earned all-county, all-state and all-conference honors as a junior.
He didn’t stop there. In 2015, he was named the NC 2A player of the year and conference player of the year as a senior, talent he took to Campbell where he continues to excel even at the college level.
Listed as an outfielder and pitcher, Barefoot ended his redshirt freshman season with the team-high batting average, batting .335 and leading the league in doubles with 22. He also had 74 hits, 120 total bases, five sacrifice flies, 48 RBIs and eight home runs, all of which where second on the team.
“Just hard work, flat out hard work,” said Barefoot, referencing the keys to his success. “My actual freshman year, I came fresh off an injury. I was supposed to be up for a pitching role that year before I got hurt. That summer I worked my tail off in the weight room, got bigger, got stronger and flat out worked as hard as I could to put myself in the best position possible.”
With that hard work, he earned many achievements along the way, most notably his three All-American selections. Making the 2017 Perfect Game/Rawlings College Freshman All-American first team, 2017 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman All-American Team and named a Freshman All-American by The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He also made the All-Big South second team.
“It’s a great feeling, to be honest, seeing that I’ve accomplished all these things is unreal — it’s flat-out unreal,” said Barefoot.
Even with all the awards, there is always room for improvement to continue growing as a player. Barefoot is well aware of that. When asked about elevating his game for future seasons, he said consistency is his main focus.
“To be more consistent and treat every day like it’s opening day,” stated Barefoot.
Barefoot isn’t only a rising baseball star, but a student-athlete. Though he’s uncertain about his future plans, he’s majoring in marketing at Campbell, perhaps with plans to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I actually changed my major from business administration to marketing. Honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure what I want to do with the classes I’m taking,” Barefoot conceded. “My dad’s a big salesman and does a bunch of marketing and I seem interested in it, but as a career I’m not sure yet.”
Whether it be in the major leagues or marketing like his father, big things can be expected from the former Midway standout.
“I’m hoping for another great season. It’s nutty — the season was awesome, but I’ve still got to work as hard as I can to put up great numbers next year to help my team win,” said Barefoot. “Maybe one day, hopefully I’ll get drafted and have the opportunity to play professional baseball.”
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