Troup’s Nolan Barton signs to play soccer at Point University

Published 3:28 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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Troup’s Nolan Barton became one of the only Tiger soccer players to ever sign to play at the next level when he held his signing day on Wednesday. Barton will be trading in the navy blue of Troup with the sky blue of Point University after his high school career wraps in the coming months.

“Point reached out after the Callaway game and asked if I wanted to come play college soccer,” Barton said. “It felt good because I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.”

Point was the right fit for Barton and when they reached out after a game earlier this season, the fit just felt natural. 

Natural ability is something that Barton has in spades, but he also has an incredible drive and work ethic. This extends beyond the soccer field and into the classroom where Barton maintains a GPA above a 4.0. 

“The guys at Point are getting not just a tremendous athlete but a terrific young man,” Troup Principal Nicki Watts said. “Nolan has been a huge part of our boys soccer program making huge strides over the last few years.

“He’s been an asset for Troup High, not just on the soccer field but in the classroom and in the hallways.”

Barton has poured his heart and soul into Troup soccer and has been a lynchpin in the evolution of the program from pushover to a playoff team. He spearheaded a trip to the playoffs for the Tigers and looks to add another playoff appearance to his resume this season.

“The team has certainly come a long way since I started playing here,” Barton said. “There’s a loyalty here with everybody, and we are striving to do our best this year.”

Barton has been tremendously loyal to the Troup soccer program even when he had an offer to go and play MLS Next. A lot of young athletes would have jumped at the chance to play at such a high level so young, but in doing so, Barton would have had to give up playing for the Tigers. That was never an option. 

Barton has continued to develop and has thrived in the environment created by Coach Eddie Lawson and all those involved in the Troup soccer program. In return for everything it has given him, he helped put Troup soccer on the map. He along with his fellow senior players transformed the culture at Troup. 

Barton’s talent is obvious with Lawson saying that “he completely locks down the right side of the field” for Troup but there is more to his game than raw talent. His leadership and tenacity has been there with him since a young age. 

“He was one of the first players I ever coached in Troup County,” said Keita Placide, Barton’s youth coach. “I pushed him as much as I could and it is good to see the flourishing player that he is today.”

Barton’s athletic ability extended well beyond the soccer pitch. He was an integral part of the Troup football special teams during his freshman and senior years. 

“He probably could have gotten an offer kicking as well,” Troup athletic director Andrew Calhoun said. 

Now, Barton is on the precipice of achieving a lifelong dream of playing college soccer. It has been a long journey to get here but Barton could not be happier to be staying close to home where his parents can come and watch him play as they have since youth league. 

“I love being able to stay close to home and my parents love watching me play, and this will give them the chance to do that,” Barton said.