“I started playing when I was seven and wanted to be a goalie,” Barber said. “However, I had to learn how to skate well and the rules of hockey. I like getting better at the sport.”
Barber quickly picked up the sport and has been a goalie in the Atlanta Junior Knights’ system for four years. Currently, she plays for the Bantam Major team consisting of 13 and 14-year-old players. Playing for the Knights requires Barber to attend three practices a week at the Marietta Ice Center after school, play games during the weekends and maintain scholastic integrity with hours of study hall. She also plays for the Pope High School ice hockey team.
“I like the hockey community in Atlanta,” Barber said. “We all know each other and the sport is fun.”
The hard work has paid off for Barber, who lists Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne and Daniel Broussard as her favorite players, as she has guided Knights’ teams to tournament wins in Cleveland, Charlotte and Chicago. One tournament has stood out above others so far in Barber’s young career.
“Playing in the Toronto Invitational was fun because the competition was good,” Barber said. “We didn’t win the tournament but I was able to win the MVP trophy for the event.”
Barber’s dedication on the ice has translated into academics, in which she has received top grades through middle school and beyond. “Emily is very focused and driven,” Centennial French teacher Amanda Repasky said. “She always wants to achieve her best wild being polite and kind in the classroom.”
“I was shocked to learn Emily plays hockey,” honors math teacher Connie Raji said. “She’s a hardworking student who is very conscientious about her assignments and strives for perfection in her work.”
Barber, who list Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne as next athletic goal will be to possibly play in college make the United States youth women’s national team, an honor she tried out for last season but didn’t make the roster. “Not making the team has given me fuel to make it this year and it would be nice to see what playing at that level would be about.”