Tascosa’s Tayden Barnes and Amarillo High’s Mason Graham teaming up next season at New Mexico State

VIDEO: Tascosa's Tayden Barnes and Amarillo High's Mason Graham teaming up next season at New Mexico State
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 11:30 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - “We good now.” Tayden Barnes said of his former rival Mason Graham. “That rivalry’s done now. We’re out of high school. It’s on to the college level.”

Barnes and Graham have become accustomed to facing off against each other. It’s been all too familiar for the two to stand on opposite sidelines as two big parts of one of the biggest rivalries in Texas: Tascosa and Amarillo High.

Now, they’ll have to get used to sharing the same sideline in college at New Mexico State.

“As soon as he committed, I texted him.” Graham said of Barnes signing with NMSU. “He’s an electric player. A great guy to be around. He’ll make us, our team better in Las Cruces. Nothing but excitement to get to play with him.”

While they’ll be on the same side once game time rolls around, practice will provide the two with an opportunity to rekindle their high school rivalry with Graham lining up at tight end and Barnes at defensive back.

“A lot of head bangers, you know. A lot of competition.” Barnes said of what he expects practice to be like. “I feel like if we’re both attacking each other, it’s only going to make each other better. Iron sharpens iron.”

We’ll get after each other.” Graham said. “We’ve always loved competing against each other. Nothing but friendly competition. I’m sure we could end up going against each other.”

Though the two shared their battles on the football field, the respect they have for each other as athletes extends far beyond the gridiron.

“He works his butt off every day.” Graham said of Barnes. “I think we both have that in common. I think we’ll both just be excited to get to work with each other and get to make each other better.”

Graham and Barnes will put the rivalry aside for now, simply happy to be two Amarillo football stars playing the sport they love together 400 miles from home.