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Coaches say Joseph "Jo Jo" Barnes has a killer swing and an unbeatable attitude.

Windsor Academy baseball coach Ricky Worsham says, "He's been one of those kids that's pushed himself, taken extra lessons and those kinds of things, batting lessons and pitching lessons, and that extra time has paid off and gotten him where he is today."

The senior kept a .346 batting average this season, but it's his 85 m.p.h. fastball and 56 strikeouts that helped carry the Knights to the state playoffs.

Barnes says, "I've just always worked hard. I've wanted to be the best at what I was doing. If somebody challenged me, I wanted to be better than them at that and always push them and push myself at the same time."

Barnes doesn't just bring the heat on the mound.

He says, "It's always been grades first with my mom. If I ain't passing, I ain't playing."

He ended his high school career with a 3.2 GPA and a few lssons he will take with him when he starts his freshman year at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Worsham says, "The things he's learned on the field will carry over into whatever he decides to do in life. He's been successful on the field, he's been around a team that has won, so I think those are the things, the qualities that he's going to carry through life whatever he decides to do."

Barnes wants to major in either Criminal Justice or Nuclear Engineering and try to suit up for the Stallions baseball team.

He says his biggest advice to all student athletes is when life thows you a curveball, "Your team is going to support you, but you have to have that mental drive."

It's that work ethic that put Barnes on the 2012 GISA All-Region list and on his way to earn a college degree.

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