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Will Barfield Jr., and the rest of the Thunder sport his father's initials 'WB' on their helmets.

By Jason P. Skoda, AFN

Considering the circumstances the yellow flag on the ground was almost predictable.

The Desert Vista football team was getting frustrated with its level of play, losing late in the game at Boulder Creek, and it was clear, unless something changed in a hurry, it wasn’t going to be a good outcome.

Will Barfield got a little too fired after a play and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The Thunder’s struggles were hardly the only thing weighing on Barfield.

Last Thursday, the day of the game, was also the one-year mark since the car accident that eventually took life of his father, Will Sr.

High school athletes get emotionally charged anyway, but throw in those two factors and it just became too much.

“It was hard to play,” Will Jr. said. “I was pretty emotional before and after the game. Before the game I was thinking about it and then when we were losing it gave me a more aggressive attitude in the second half.

“When it ended I got real emotional because the whole game I had this drive to win and we couldn’t pull through. He was watching and we didn’t get it done.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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