Throughout his career as a kicker, Casey Barth has used his older brother, Connor, as a measuring stick for his success. Entering the 2012 season, Connor Barth held the record for career-field goals at Carolina with 54. When Casey broke Connor’s record earlier this year against Wake Forest, it was Connor who was first to congratulate his younger brother.
“As soon as he did it, I was the first one to send out a tweet or an instragram picture just saying ‘Congratulations’ and you know, he didn’t even call me. He still hasn’t called me to this day saying, ‘Hey, I broke it.’ I would have called him in two seconds and be like ‘Dude, I broke your record, man.’ That’s just how I am. But he was [like], ‘No, it’s awesome, it stays in the family.’ And you know, I had a little bit easier of a road getting a full scholarship coming in and he had to work his way up to get a scholarship here, so for him to get where he is today breaking that record it’s pretty awesome.”
“I think, just growing up, I always saw his accomplishments as greater than mine. So I think that when I did it I didn’t think it was that big of a deal because I still have a lot that I want to accomplish. So for me to tell him that – I mean he’s up playing in the NFL and I think that’s something that I want to do as well, so he’s still got that step on me.”
The two Barth brothers grew up pushing each other to compete at everything.
“Just with every sport that we played, we grew up playing basketball, football, baseball, soccer, pretty much anything we could do and he was always setting that standard for me. He was a little bit older, stronger, faster, so I was always trying to compete with him but he would always win so that’s kind of how we kept each other competitive.”
“You know, my mom and dad kind of always kept it fun. Kicking with Casey, having us both kicking was just an awesome time because we could push each other, we kind of fed off each other when we were both kicking at the same time. We would kind of joke and see who would have the higher percentage and who would do better so we still do it to this day. Last week we talked about it, let’s see who can go a-hundred percent this year, let’s see who can have the higher percentage.”
For the last nine years, Casey and Connor’s parents have been travelling to Chapel Hill to watch their sons play for the Tar Heels and soon, sadly, that will be over.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do after this year, I mean, I just don’t know. It’s so ingrained now for them to travel on Saturdays to drive up to Chapel Hill and then to fly out to Tampa on Sunday now, so it’s crazy. At least, hopefully, one of us will still be playing next year, hopefully both of us will be. But I don’t know man, it’s been crazy and like they said, they don’t know what they’re going to do. They keep telling me, they’re like, ‘Man, I don’t know what to do after this year,’ I’m like still go to the games, why not.
For the Barths, being a Tar Heel has been all about family.
“Just the family atmosphere, something about walking in, coming into this town. Just the feel, the smell, just coming in and just, I’ve been here, playing here for four years and then my brother playing here, just being a part of the Carolina football gamily is something special.”
“Just the atmosphere. Wearing that jersey, you know that it represents something bigger than yourself with all the people that have been through here. All the great athletes, its just something that you can cherish and you that it’s not just about you, it’s about the university.”