Wildwood quarterback Zak Barrett

Zak Barrett went to Wildwood High School with a smile Monday morning.

The senior had quarterbacked the Wildwood football team to its first win since 2008 on Saturday. Barrett completed 14-of-20 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns as the Warriors beat Clay-ton 28-13.

Wildwood had lost 22 straight since its previous victory - a 28-14 win over Clayton on Oct. 10, 2008.

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Saturday's win gave Barrett and the rest of the Warriors a chance to know what it's like to go to school after a victory.

"It was amazing," Barrett said of the atmosphere. "I went in there with my head up high. Everyone was shaking our hands. I was just proud to be a Warrior."

With an enrollment of slightly fewer than 300 students, Wildwood is one of the state's smallest public schools. Barrett, who lives in Wildwood Crest, knows all about Wildwood athletics. His grandfather, Bernie McCracken, was the Warriors' longtime boys basketball coach.

In a telephone interview this week, Barrett, a senior, spoke about a few topics, including the challenges of fielding a football team at a school with such a small enrollment and his passion for surfing.

On how tough it was to persevere through all the defeats: I had (quitting) in my mind, but I would talk to my Pop-Pop (McCracken). He would tell me to play through it and never quit on your team. I knew a day like this would come where we would win a game.

On the importance of Wildwood having a football team: It keeps you busy. It keeps kids out of trouble. It teaches you lessons you can use later in life. It teaches (you) how to be a man and live in the real world.

On how tough it is for Wildwood to field a football team: A lot of kids in Wildwood work in the summer. That hurts our numbers because they're kids who are making money for their families rather than playing for their high school. That's why we lose a lot of kids.

On what it's like to attend Wildwood: It's really cool. You know everyone in the school. I know every single kid in that school. It's like a little community. All the teachers are close.

On surfing: I love surfing. I do a lot of the local contests. It's another passion of mine.

On what's better, throwing a touchdown pass or catching a big wave: I don't know. That's too hard of a question.

Michael McGarry


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