auburndale football

Auburndale Bloodhounds wide receiver Ruben Barrett (81) gets ready during practice in Auburndale on Wednesday.

Ruben Barrett is the real-life David of his generation.

The Auburndale junior slot catcher is preparing for a matchup against rival Bartow on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Bartow Memorial Stadium. But long before the big football contest, the 4-foot-8 Barrett had to fight his own personal battles against would-be Goliaths to get to where he is today.

Just like today, Barrett was always the smallest person in the classroom. In a stream of memorable moments in the midst of his school days at Caldwell Elementary School at the age of 10, he was always the butt of a few short jokes: cold, calculated comments designed to bring a young person down. However, Barrett took those comments as just words and jokes.

Still, knowing there was a grain of truth to humor, he wanted to prove the naysayers wrong and play a sport he was passionate about, which was sparked by his mother and father constantly watching the Dallas Cowboys.

But Barrett’s mother needed her son to grow progressively and for his body to develop a little more.

Ruben Barrett, a wide receiver for the Auburndale Bloodhounds, gets ready during practice Wednesday at Auburndale.

Then, a few years later, Barrett, who was 4-foot-3 at the time, joined a Winter Haven youth soccer team at the age of 13, and it was for a specific purpose.

“I just wanted to show people that short people can do anything that tall people (can do),” Barrett said.

Barrett was running back and on the defensive line at the time. And the shortest person on the Wolverines ended up making some pivotal tackles during the year.

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