Hampton experiences big loss

Column: This isn’t easy to write.
It never is.
Imagine the shock to the system after taking a few days to spend with family over the Fourth of July weekend as I came to find out a big supporter of Bulldog athletics and youth sports in the community and area was lost after a car accident on the Fourth.
I personally didn’t know Kevin Barz well, but came to recognize him as a face who was ever-present when it came to Bulldog athletics, especially those which involved his three children, all of which it has been a privilege to cover during the past seven years.
He was a heavy supporter of youth sports in the area, particularly football, since he excelled in the sport at Ackley-Geneva, Ellsworth Community College and then the University of Northern Iowa, where he was an offensive co-captain, gracing the cover of the Northern Iowa football media guide in 1977, and received all-conference honors.
On July 6, UNI head football coach Mark Farley Tweeted, “I am so sorry to let our football family know that we lost one of the greatest Panthers, Teammates, and Friend of @UNIFOOTBALL on July 4. Kevin Barz and his wife Julia. Please take the time to say a prayer for the family for their loss. Kevin was one of the best.”
Active in Youth Sports Foundation and most recently a proponent for Bulldog Strength and Conditioning, a program to help all kids at the high school to get stronger and faster, he always took time to help out youth in athletics. He was also involved in the Quarterback Club, a program to benefit Bulldog football. Memories and condolences have rolled in on its Facebook page.
One of the few conversations I had with him, he took the time to thank me for all of the coverage I provided for his children, and I can’t tell you how much that meant. In this job, you don’t hear a lot of praise and of course you don’t go looking for it, but when it comes and from someone who obviously meant a lot to the Hampton community, it certainly meant a great deal to me.
Never is it easy to lose a community member, and certainly one who provided so much of his time and care to youth in the area, but I hope and know that Hampton and the surrounding community will be able to rally around the family in a time like this.
There are so many other things swirling in my head that I could say, but I’m just going to leave it by saying that my condolences go out to his family and friends, those who knew him best.

Hampton Chronicle

9 Second Street NW
Hampton, IA 50441
Phone: 641-456-2585
Fax: 1-800-340-0805
Email: chroniclenews@midamericapub.com

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