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A former Flour Bluff football player killed in Iraq still an inspiration to the team

Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 19:13:09-04

John Paul Barta played football and baseball at Flour Bluff.

He graduated in 2000 and later joined the military.

Barta was killed in action in december 2006;

He wore the number 32 and since 2007 every Flour Bluff Football player wears a number 32 decal on the back of their helmet.

“He’s somebody that exemplifies what it means to be a Hornet . We want our young men to aspire to be like John Paul so we wear the 32 to represent him and everything he stood for,” said Hornet Head Coach Chris Steinbruck.

One player who knows that well is Kadon Luke. His dad is stationed at the Naval Air Station.

“It means a lot for sure, because I think about it every day. My dad was deployed 3 times since I’ve been alive, so I’m always thinking about how he’s doing over there. You cant talk every day, so you just have to hope and pray,” said Luke.

Any flour bluff football player thats ever put number 32 on their helmet realized football is more that a game its a game of commitment.

A commitment to the game and a commitment to our country.

“I want our kids to understand that one of our own gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can have all the wonderful freedoms that we have and I told our kids yesterday that one thing John Paul would ask of you is never take that for granted,” said Steinbruck.

Flour Bluff opens the 2018 football season at home tomorrow night.