Sam Barczak runs his head under cold water before every Army practice.
Barczak flips the switch and leaves what happened during a busy day at West Point behind to focus on football.
“For me, I feel that it’s a mental game especially here at West Point,” said Barczak, a senior offensive lineman. “It’s not easy. I don’t know the last time anybody had an easy day. But, I’m a really positive guy and I try to spread that to the team because there’s no reason to bring anyone else down. Not that I’m going to be a hater or anything like that. But, there’s no reason to bring anything but positivity when you come up to the stadium and energy is contagious.”
Barczak is one of the energy guys on Army’s offensive line. He brought that energy from the initial snap against Villanova Saturday, making his first college start at right guard. Barczak, the fifth different Army offensive linemen to start their first game this season, played 47 of Army’s 56 snaps in a 49-10 win.
“I really wanted to make my mom (Ann) proud when I came to West Point and her getting to watch my first start (on televison), it meant a lot to me,” Barczak said. “It was really fulfilling. I love football as much as anybody else but (it’s) just making me mom proud.
You come here to be a college football player and going out there with those first four guys in front of the Corps, in front of 30,000 fans, that’s what we are for and to do all the really cool West Point stuff and get a solid education. College football is college football at the end of the day. It is really special.”
Barczak admitted getting “the chills” before his first snap. Playing alongside senior center Connor Bishop and junior Connor Finucane, who moved from right guard to right tackle, relaxed Barczak.
“I was just going to go out there and treat it like it’s practice,” Barczak said. “I’m going to play fast because that’s how they do it. They are every day guys. I don’t want to say comforting. I don’t want to give them a big head but it was cool to be out there with two of my best friends.”
Barczak’s passion for the game doesn’t stop during a bye. He was back out there, firing up his teammates this week. He said one of his favorite moments of his first start was seeing sophomore Will Jeffcoat receive his first college snaps replacing him in the fourth quarter.
“There’s no reason to bring anything but positivity when you come up to the stadium and energy is contagious,” Barczak said. “It’s an old saying but it truly is. You come out on that practice field and you are screaming, somebody is going to follow you and another guy is going to follow him. It’s about caring for each other and helping out the brotherhood.”
Jeffcoat was one of 10 players to make their offensive debut along with sophomore quarterback Bryson Daily, freshman fullback Hayden Reed, sophomore fullback Jarel Dickson, freshman wide receiver Liam Fortner, sophomore wide receiver Casey Reynolds, sophomore tight ends David Crossan and Will Montesi, sophomore center Davis Wulf and freshman offensive lineman Ryan Scott.
Here’s a breakdown of Army’s 56 offensive snaps (from DVR, interview with Sam Barczak below):
*LG-C Jackson Filipowicz (48 snaps): 3rd career start
*RG Sam Barczak (47 snaps): 1st career start
*C Connor Bishop (47 snaps): 22nd career start
*RT Connor Finucane (47 snaps): 17th career start
*TE Josh Lingenfelter (42 snaps): 7th career start
*SB Braheam Murphy (41 snaps): 2 carries, 22 yards, 4th career start
*SB Tyrell Robinson (41 snaps): 6 carries, 89 yards, 21st career start
FB Tyson Riley (38 snaps): 21 carries, 158 yards, 1 TD (3rd career)
*LT David Hayward (37 snaps): 2nd career start
*QB Tyhier Tyler (30 snaps): 12 carries, 77 yards, 3 TD (14th, 15th, 16th career), 11th career start
*WR Cole Caterone (24 snaps): 12th career start
WR Isaiah Alston (18 snaps)
LT Simon Dellinger (18 snaps)
QB Cade Ballard (17 snaps): 3 carries, 18 yards, 1 TD (2nd career), 0-1 passing
SB Maurice Bellan (14 snaps): 1 carry, 4 yards
SB Miles Stewart (14 snaps): 1 carry, 3 yards
FB Hayden Reed (14 snaps): 3 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD (1st career)
WR Veshe Daniyan (12 snaps)
RG Will Jeffcoat (9 snaps)
RT Beau Lombardi (9 snaps)
TE Blane Cleaver (7 snaps)
LG Aidan Gaines (7 snaps)
QB Jemel Jones (6 snaps): 3 carries, 26 yards
WR Casey Reynolds (5 snaps)
*FB Jakobi Buchanan (3 snaps): 1 carry, 55 yards, 7th career start
QB Bryson Daily (3 snaps): 1 carry, -12 yards
FB Jarel Dickson (3 snaps): 1 carry, 3 yards
C Davis Wulf (3 snaps)
WR Liam Fortner (2 snaps)
LT David Hoyt (2 snaps)
LG Ryan Scott (2 snaps)
TE Will Montesi (1 snap)
TE David Crossan (1 snap)