Quartez Barber

Quartez Barber, Parkland High School football 

Parkland quarterback Quartez Barber has a problem most adults would kill for: He can’t gain any weight.

“I do protein shakes, muscle milk, all that stuff, but it doesn’t work out for me,” Barber said. “My metabolism is so high, I lose weight in my sleep.”

Fortunately, Barber, a 6-foot-1, 150-pound senior, has emerged as a heavy hitter for the Mustangs behind center. His first start for Parkland last Friday night resulted in a 29-7 win over Northeast Guilford. The Mustangs’ triumph ended a 22-game losing streak that stretched over two seasons.

“We want to see this team win some games instead of going 0-11 again,” Barber said. “I think we’ve grown as a team. We’re comfortable around each other and willing to expand each others’ talents.”

Barber transferred to Parkland in December from Reynolds, where he had played wide receiver. The former Pop Warner quarterback wanted to call signals.

“I came here to play quarterback; I was looking forward to playing quarterback for these guys,” he said. “I’ve played with a bunch of them. I got comfortable lifting with them last winter, so I was starting to fit in before football ever started.”

Martin Samek, Parkland’s head coach, has been nothing but happy with Barber.

“Quartez is a great kid, a great pickup for us,” said Samek. “He had a great spring, worked out very well, did everything he was asked and even gained some weight.”

Barber wants to play quarterback in college but recognizes that a 150-pound signal-caller isn’t likely to make many waves in the eyes of recruiters. “I know I need to be heavier,” he said. “I want to leave high school weighing about 180.”

Barber, whose younger brother, Tyrone, is quarterbacking Parkland’s junior varsity as a freshman, is already planning on running track next spring — “probably something like the 400 (meters),” he said — to improve his speed and build up his leg muscles.

If college football doesn’t work out, Barber said, he would love to join the Navy.

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