Work hard. Life isn’t always easy. Take your opportunities.
These are just some of the lessons that Gabe Barker has learned during his tenure at
St. Francis de Sales. With college acceptances coming in (many of them and with scholarship money), he answered some of our questions about his experiences during high school.
Why did you choose St. Francis de Sales?
I came from C.I.C.S. Longwood and chose St. Francis de Sales because I wanted a school where I could play more than one sport and get a good education. St. Francis de Sales gave me that. I started right away playing football my freshman year and have played both baseball and basketball my last three years. I am currently part of the choir and was also a part of the student council.
I know basketball is your favorite sport, can you tell us a bit about your experience on the basketball team?
I have played on the team for all four years as a small forward/power forward and played center too at times. I have been a leader on the team because I was able to play from freshman year on. Being on a team is so important. My game has evolved over the course of years. In the beginning, others doubted my ability but I pushed myself to overcome my inner struggles, a lot of problems come from internal battles. My goal is to give my best no matter whether we win or lose. My favorite memory came during my sophomore year and our sectional win. We played a super - sectional game at Northern Illinois University. What a memorable experience! I knew I still had two more varsity years. The school was electrified and everyone rooted for us and alumni even came to cheer us on.
Being on the basketball team for four years has been a great experience. I have learned that you have to work hard and if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
Are you glad you attended a Catholic School?
Yes, Mr. Warner, our Theology teacher, has taught me so much. I have talked with Mr. Warner countless times about problems or questions I have. He’s been a great supporter of me in everything I want to do and he gives great advice. Kairos, our retreat, was another great opportunity for me to express myself and grow stronger in who I am.
Do you have any specific stories that you want to share about your high school journey?
First semester of my freshman year, I was in and out of school due to a concussion from playing Varsity football. Throughout the course of the school year I went out to prove my ability to perform in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. I didn’t allow a rough start to affect how I finished the year. I wasn't up to par with all the material that was covered in the class while I was out for my concussion and my teacher at the time didn't make it easy for me.
Although this happened, I bounced back and squeezed in the top ten for the B honor roll for second semester. I had to go to summer school to make up my algebra class and I did it! I didn’t let that concussion and the time out of class stop me.
Now because of my hard work and St. Francis de Sales education, I’ve been accepted into a number of schools with scholarship money including: Iowa Wesleyan, Youngstown State University, Central State University, Lewis University, Holy Cross College, Eastern Illinois University, Eastern Michigan, St Xavier University, Bradley University and Alabama A&M.