Big Sandy's Jessey Bailey is already a successful running back and linebacker. But he badly wants a state championship for
Reaching the State C Six-Man football semifinals, the Big Sandy Pioneers are having a season most teams around the state are only dreaming of.
And senior running back and linebacker Jessey Bailey has been in this position before, but is hoping a state championship doesn’t slip through his fingers in his final prep football season.
Bailey has played varsity football for the Pioneers all four years, finding good success doing so. Being a four-year letter winner he has been to the playoffs before, but has come up short, including a loss to Savage in the semifinals last season. But Bailey is also coming off one of his best seasons a year ago, earning North Division All-Conference and Six-Man All-State honors.
In 2012, he is well on his way to collect more awards as one of the top linebackers and running backs in all of Class C Six-Man.
Bailey will also be a four-year varsity basketball player this season, and has run track for two years. Bailey runs the 100-meters and the short relay for the Pioneers.
Bailey has found success while with the Pioneers, but isn’t done yet. Saturday he and the rest of the Pioneers will host Valier in the state semifinals, hoping for a shot at a state championship. Valier handed the Pioneers their only loss in the regulars season, beating the Pioneers 46-44 in Big Sandy.
Here's five questions with Big Sandy's powerful back as the Pioneers get ready for the semifinals.
HDN: How has the competition level changed since the Pioneers have reached the state playoffs?
Bailey: “Well the teams are all a lot better, and that means we have to come out a lot harder. The teams are also faster and bigger, and that means we have to work harder. But it is more of a mental thing, practices are still the same, but it is all about how you think. You have to be more crisp.”
HDN: What has made the running game so successful this season, and how has it opened up the passing game as well?
Bailey: “Our blocking has really improved throughout the season. And our running game has opened up the passing game because it has made us a double threat team.”
HDN: What is the atmosphere like, hosting a playoff game in Big Sandy?
Bailey: “Things are hectic, and everybody is jacked. This is the third year in a row we have been this far in the season, so everybody is excited. I have had random people around town, people I don’t even know have come up to me and said good game last weekend, or good job, and go get em'. Everybody is excited for this Saturday.”
HDN: Valier gave the Pioneers their only loss on the season. How excited is the team to host them again on Saturday?
Bailey: “We couldn’t ask for anything better. They are a big rival team, so we just want to get out there and prove to everybody that it was a fluke. We just have to focus on the fundamentals, we can's just beat ourselves I think.”
HDN: With the state title so close, how bad do you and the rest of the Pioneers want it?
Bailey: “So bad. I have never wanted anything else as bad in my life. After being stopped short the last year and the year before, this is the last chance for us seniors. This is the whole reason we came out.
Note: For more on Saturday's Big Sandy game, see Thursday and Friday's Havre Daily News.