When Brian Barnes got the letter in the mail from Union College, he thought his alma mater was wanting money.
Instead, Union was looking to pay the former Thomasville High star and the rest of the 1992 Union Bulldogs the ultimate compliment — induction into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
“At first, I thought it was a bill. That was my first thought,” Barnes said after that team was selected as a Team of Distinction that will be honored during homecoming festivities Oct. 5. “Then I started reading it, I was like, ‘Man. And I started remembering the season and got on Facebook and talked to all my old teammates and make sure they’ll be there.
“It surprised me. It surprised me because I’ve been away from school since ’96.
Barnes was a freshman on that Bulldog team, the first in Union history to win a conference championship. Those Bulldogs, who also set a school record for wins in that 8-2 season, are still the only conference champs for Union. That is a source of pride for Barnes.
See Sunday's edition for more details