HUNTINGTON — At first glance, a wide receiver transferring to Spring Valley High School might be akin to an outdoorsman choosing to live in New York City.
Ty Bartrum, though, chose to play for the Timberwolves after coming from Cherokee High in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
“You might see us throw it a little bit more this year,” Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess said after being asked about the addition of the 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver/defensive back. “Any time you can add good football players it’s not going to hurt. You play to your strengths, the kind of kids you have, and that’s what you go with. We’re not that hard-headed about certain things. We’ll do what we have to do to give ourselves a chance to win a football game.”
Bartrum knows something about catching passes and playing football. He is the son of Mike and Jennifer Bartrum. Mike, a 1992 NCAA Division I-AA All-American tight end at Marshall University, played 13 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Philadelphia Eagles. When Mike accepted a job as an assistant coach at Marshall in February, Ty finished out the school year in New Jersey then headed to Huntington.
Spring Valley is the young Bartrum’s third school. He played for his dad as a freshman at Meigs High School, Mike’s alma mater. When Mike took a job as assistant tight ends coach with the Eagles, the family moved back to New Jersey, where they lived when Mike played for Philadelphia.
“It feels good, like my freshman year at Meigs,” Ty Bartrum said of Spring Valley. “It’s definitely different than New Jersey. It’s kind of like that rural feel from Meigs County (Ohio). It’s really smooth. I love the guys. It couldn’t be any better. The weight room has been awesome, lifting with the guys. I love it.”
Spring Valley is known for its pounding running attack and enormous — in size and talent — offensive linemen. Ty Bartrum said he’s if the Timberwolves run the ball every down.
“I honestly don’t care as long as we win,” he said.
Ty Bartrum, whose brother Zach plays football at Ohio Dominican University, also excels in the classroom. He really excels in the classroom, as evidenced by his commitment to play football at Harvard University. Bartum chose the Crimson over several offers, including from Bowling Green and Toledo.
“It was the best fit for me,” Bartrum said. “With the options I had, it was the best one.”
Bartrum said he is undecided on a major or what he intends to do in life.
“I’m figuring that out,” Bartrum said. “That’s a big question right now. I’m not sure of that.”
Bartrum, though is a sure-handed receiver and tackler. In two seasons at Cherry Hill, he caught 49 passes for 445 yards and three touchdowns. He added four touchdowns in other ways and made 162 tackles. Bartrum also rushed for 231 yards on 53 carries.
Bartrum said he never felt pressure to play football, but loves the sport.
“Without a doubt one of the more important things in my life since I was little,” Bartrum said. “I was the water boy for my two older brothers. Growing up with two older brothers, that’s a deal in itself. Painting the fields with my dad every week. Growing up with it helped me more than you know.”
Bartrum grew up playing football in Meigs County where his quarterback was Coulter Cleland, a Marauders senior who recently committed to Davidson College.
“He’s a baller,” Bartrum said of Cleland. “He deserves so much more than he has. He’s going to Davidson and that’s awesome. He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever played with.”
Bartrum said he enjoy riding dirt bikes, snow boarding, wake boarding and being on the river. This time of year, however, football takes precedence over most activities other than church and family.
Dingess said he is impressed with Bartrum on and off the field.
“Any time you add a kid with high character, a good teammate — and he’s a good football player — that helps the culture,” Dingess said. “He’ll fit in great.”