MONMOUTH, Ill. – Even before Monmouth and St. Norbert met for the Midwest Conference football crown last Saturday, Monmouth’s Matt Barnes (Colfax, Ill./Ridgeview) was declared a winner when the league proclaimed the junior the conference’s Elite 20 winner.
Modeled after the NCAA’s Elite 90 academic award, the MWC’s Elite 20 award is presented to the student-athlete at the league’s championships with the highest grade point average. Barnes, a business and Spanish double major, carried the highest GPA of the more than 200 student-athletes involved in the title game.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker also excelled on the fieldSaturday, leading the Scots with a game-high 15 tackles. For the season, Barnes recorded team highs of 98 tackles and 50 solo stops. His 9.5 tackles for loss tied for second on the team as Monmouth won the South Division title to earn a trip to last weekend’s league championship contest.
Barnes is the son of Robert and Kathleen Barnes.