Tonawanda News —
In the first days of youth club wrestling practice all the kids are called out onto the mat and told to pair up with a partner. Colin and Tim Barnard — brothers wrestling for Tonawanda — were 5 and 4 years old when they stepped onto the mat for the first time.
They undoubtedly chose each other.
“The two of them would actually join hands and go out (together),” said Larry Barnard, their father. “The coach said to me, ‘That’s cherishable and it’s not going to stay that way for long.’ It showed they knew they belonged together, and they stayed together over time.”
The two brothers, who have been wrestling together all their lives, couldn’t be any different from one another — from their personalities to their tattoos.
Colin, a senior at Tonawanda High School, has Spiderman tattooed on his calf and is known as the quiet one. Tim, a junior, has Batman inked on his calf and is more open and outgoing.
“They’re totally different,” said Tonawanda High School varsity wrestling coach Jeff Hess. “Colin doesn’t say anything, just comes in, does his work and goes home, where as Tim is more of a vocal presence in the room. I’ve gotten probably two words from (Colin) all year.”
According to Tim, the two spent the first 10 years of their wrestling careers practicing with only each other and it's been a benefit seeing as the brothers have completely different styles of wrestling.
“We have the complete opposite style,” Tim said. “He’s a leg wrestler, tries to slow things down. I try to speed things up and get the quick pins.”
The difference is interesting considering that both boys learned how to wrestle from their father.
It all started when Larry took the boys to see his nephew wrestle at North Tonawanda High School when they were young. After watching the match, he asked them if this sport would be something they were interested in, and they instantly said yes.