Baggett hopes to resume QB duties at Unaka soon

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   In his last season at Unaka, senior player Jamin Baggett has been called upon to fill some big shoes, as he's led the Ranger offense at quarterback for most of the year.
   With just two seasons under his belt, Baggett has shown maturity and leadership among his teammates and in trying to accomplish all he can for the love of the game.
   Unfortunately Baggett, who didn't play in Friday night's game against Hampton, will miss one or two more games because of a concussion he suffered a couple of weeks ago.
   "I got hit at West Greene, and I had a concussion then got laid out, and in practice I was hit again, and then when I took the lick Friday, it knocked me out," said Baggett.
   This might alter the Unaka offense for the next few games, as a replacement will take his role in moving the Rangers down the field.
   Baggett is enjoying his time at Unaka High School, as he prepares for life afterwards, which is not that far away.
   "I love it, and I wish I could go back and do it all over again, especially on my grades. If I had a chance of doing it again, I would try to make straight A's," said Baggett.
   "I'm now starting to miss it , and having regrets things I didn't do in the past, such as different clubs and playing football my freshman year," said Baggett.
   With the lack of playing out on the field, this has not discouraged Baggett from the want-to attitude.
   "I just wish I could go back and get more experience, so I would be in a position to where I helped in improving the team", said Baggett.
   He's definitely an asset to the Rangers, who desperately need the leadership of upper classman, since they are so young with just a few seniors on their roster.
   Even though Baggett feels he hasn't applied himself academically like he should have, he still has plans in furthering his education after high school.
   "I'm going to Northeast State for a couple of years to get my foreign classes, and then transfer to ETSU," said Baggett. "I'm not really for sure what I'm going to major in, but I would like to become a football coach and teacher, or possibly an electrician someday."
   Baggett might of went the same route as some people, who have not took the initiative to carry out a life filled dream, but explains why his reasoning for playing football is.
   "I just don't want to have any regrets in driving by the field and thinking, if I had gave a little bit more in practice or toughing it out in a game," said Baggett.
   In asking Baggett about his leadership role this year, he responded in saying, "I try to get my teammates fired up and their heads in the game, and when they make mistakes, I just pat them on the back and tell them it happens and keep their heads up."
   "I try to be a leader and help out coach Taylor, but sometimes he has to calm me down, and tell me that I'm not the coach," says Baggett.
   The amount of pressure that Baggett has endured at being named quarterback has to have somewhat of an effect, especially when you've not been a part of football throughout grade school.
   "At the first of the year I felt very uncomfortable, but after a couple of games I started feeling better, and trying to eliminate turnovers," said Baggett.
   Unaka hasn't had the best of seasons so far, but Baggett sees hope in picking up a victory before the year is out.
   "I don't want to disrespect any team, but I say our best chance is probably against North Greene or possibly Chuckey Doak," says Baggett.
   Baggett said their coach has worked them hard this year, and wants to take the blame of their lack of success, but is put in a hard position with their inexperience on the team.
   The Rangers had maybe their best chance so far in achieving a victory last week, but came up a little short in the last few minutes of the ballgame at Cosby.
   "We were very hungry and thought we could come away with the win at Cosby, and bring one back for Unaka." "It was very disappointing," said Baggett.
   Baggett said he feels like their team has really improved, and if they had a chance to play some of the teams they have faced again it would be a different result.
   "I'm just proud of the young guys, and I think in a couple of seasons that they will do good for the coaches are doing all they can," says Baggett.
   Even though this will probably be Baggett's last chance at being a player in a football career, he has showed the same determination and true spirit of an athlete, that is preparing for the next level of play.
   "I'd like to thank God for all that he has done for me and allowing me to play football. With Brandon Asher dying last year, it really hurt us, and just to get the opportunity to play football whether win or loose is better than anything ,and I would like to thank him above all," said Baggett.