THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) - When it comes to football, battling in the trenches often goes as a thankless position. The offensive line makes the offense go, creating the lanes and the protection needed for the quarterback. Thomas County Central's Bailey King is okay with that, he's just hoping to lead the Jackets to success.
"It's been growing since he was in middle school," remembered head coach Bill Shaver of Bailey's journey to a varsity starter. "He wasn't a great player in middle school, sometimes he wasn't even a starter!"
Time, hustle, and hard work landed Bailey a starting role his sophomore season, and he hasn't looked back.
"I really just want to be remembered as a good player and really want the team to be successful," said Bailey. "I really just want to have fun and be someone people talked about."
"His helmet has all the scrapes and scratches on the front of it, and everything we get with those young kids that their helmet isn't all scrapped up, we say, well look right here at Bailey's," said Coach Shaver. "This is how you're supposed to be practicing everyday. He's one of them, if you were in a foxhole, you'd want him with you. He's that guy that's a classic team player. He's just done a good job for us his whole career."
He's doing work on the field, and doing work when it comes to the books. Bailey boasts a 3.5 GPA with a schedule full of advanced classes.
"It helps me focus on what I need to get done, so I don't get sidetracked," he said. "With football, I have to be focused on what I do because I have very little time with practice and all. It really helped me focus and make better grades."
"They're the classic team guys," said Coach Shaver of his offensive lineman. "They don't ever get recognized, nobody ever know that they did anything until the mess up on like a pass protection or something. It's good to see him get some recognition for not only being a really good ball player, but also a really good student."
A good student, who's hard work has also paid off, on Friday nights.