HOLTON, Kan. (KSNT) – The Barta family is all about football. It started with Roger Barta, the head coach at Smith Center High School from 1978-2012.
“When I was born, I was at a football game the next day,” Brooks Barta, his son, said.
Roger compiled a 323-68 record and won eight state championships. His career concluded when he was named to the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.
“It was not a very good place when he got there,” Brooks said. “He has a way with kids and getting the most out of every kid and turned it into a culture there.”
Brooks played football under his father’s coaching. Brooks is now entering his 25th season as head coach of the Holton Wildcats. Following his dad’s footsteps, he has a 235-56 record.
“I’ve been doing it long enough that I get to play golf with the kids that played for me, and now, they’re fathers,” he said. “When they can point back to some of the things they’ve done with our team and learned from our coaches, I think that’s really important to me.”
Then, there’s Mason. Mason played for his dad, Brooks, at Holton High School. He now plays at K-State, just like his father did.
“Some nights, I would come home, and I’d grab dinner and go right to my room because I didn’t want to look at him,” Mason Barta said. “But, it was really a great experience, and he’s continued to follow me. He still tries to coach me up a little bit if he sees some things when he comes to watch practice or games and stuff.”
Roger Barta lives in Manhattan, so Mason sees him almost every weekend to talk all things football.
“I’m just proud of who’s raised me and who’s really supported me,” Mason said.
As far as continuing the family coaching legacy, Mason’s focusing on his master’s degree in data analytics for now.
“Maybe far in the future, but not right away,” he said. “I have a passion about football. I love the sport, but I don’t know. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill with grandpa and dad, so we’ll see.”