Barker a Middletown football fixture

Posted by Press Democrat Correspondent Dewey Forget: Middletown may have the oldest “ball dude” in the Redwood Empire. Jack Barker, 66, has been running footballs on and off the field for the Mustangs for 30 years. Barker, a Middletown High graduate, is an icon in the Middletown area. He has been the subject of numerous articles, including one written by Brian Sumpter of the Lake County Record Bee.
Barker, who works for Hardester’s, a grocery and hardware store in Middletown, is also a volunteer fireman. And, he helps with most of the other sports programs. Middletown athletic director Geri Giovannetti says Barker is always there to lend a hand, and usually when it’s needed most.
“I remember one stormy night at a North Coast Section soccer game, I really needed some help and here comes Jack,” Giovannetti said.
Barker, who looks much younger than his age, seems to always have a kind word for everyone. He has been the recipient of several awards at Middletown sports banquets. If you take in a Middletown football game, you can’t miss Barker. He’s the guy with a big smile on his face and a football under his arm.