In Feb. 19 Issue
Tyla Bailey, a senior on this year's Lady Laker basketball team, wants to be a part of something special. That is why she rejoined the team after not playing basketball a season ago. With the tall Bailey back in the rotation for coach Craig Pippen, it gives Russell County another post presence that is capable of rebounding at a high level and blocking shots.
"It has been fun and I've enjoyed being back with the girls and just working hard," Bailey said. "I'm just glad that I'm back in the swing of things."
Bailey, who is looked upon as a role model for her work ethic in the classroom and on the court, said she would miss being around the team each day once the season finally does come to an end.
"As a senior that is part of our role," she said of looking out for the younger players. "Hopefully we'll be able to get another district championship and do well in region."
With the season passing by so fast, Bailey said she hopes the younger girls do not take practice and games lightly as they will soon come to an end.
"It seems like we just started," she said. Bailey, who began playing basketball in third grade, said she knew from an early age she wanted to have the game in her life.
"Basketball has always been a big sport in a small town," she said. Bailey said she has seen herself improve both her agility and quickness as her high school career has progressed.
That is evident as coach Pippen is not shy to bring Bailey into the game to bang with the opposition's post players in the paint. Her height advantage over many players allows her to dominate the offensive glass at times, which in turn allows her to pick up points on offensive putbacks.
Bailey, who was also a star volleyball player for Russell County High School, said she tries to do whatever the coaches ask of her when she is placed in the game. A strategy like that will earn more minutes.
She wished to thank the entire coaching staff, her family and friends for backing her throughout her high school years.
Bailey, the youngest of three siblings, jokingly said her parents, Kevin and Mary Lynn Bailey, were going to struggle once they had no children participating in high school sports or extracurricular activities.
But with hopefully several weeks of basketball left, Bailey and the 16-7 Lady Lakers, hope to bring yet another accolade or two to Russell County High School's athletic department.