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Champion of Character: Lauren Bailey

Soccer player uses sports to adjust to new town, new school.

By Greg Hammond
By ghammond@wbbjtv.com

Lauren Bailey is not an army brat, but with parents who coach and teach at the college level, she has not been in one place very long.

"I've lived in 5 different states,” said Bailey

Lauren and her parents have lived in Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and now Tennessee. Her mother, Dr. Lora Bailey, is the Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Lane College.

“I had to get use to transitioning to different places,” said Lauren.

Being used to moving did not make leaving Atlanta for Jackson - during her senior year - any easier.

"The town (Jackson) is way smaller than Atlanta. There’s nothing to do here," Lauren said when asked about her first impressions of the Hub City.

But playing sports has provided opportunities for Lauren in the middle of latest move.

Lauren had played club soccer in Atlanta, but her experience at Sacred Heart of Jesus High School was her first experience at the high school level.

"Playing soccer has made the experience and my senior season better than it could have been," said Lauren

Scott Sinclair, the head soccer coach at Sacred Heart, said Lauren has been a key factor to the team’s success.

Soccer, however, has helped Lauren

"Playing and being part of a team helps you get to know everybody," said Coach Sinclair, a native of Scotland.

"Since he's Scottish, I couldn’t' really understand anything during the first week I was at practice,” Lauren said.

“But he has become one of the best coaches I ever had in soccer."

Lauren arrived at Sacred Heart at just the right time as the school is preparing to begin varsity basketball.

Lauren’s father, Maurice was previously the head basketball coach at Gadsden State Community College and Benedict College.

"Seeing her on the soccer field, I think her talents will translate over into basketball and be very good for our team," said John Stang, athletic director at Sacred Heart.

However, like the basketball team, Lauren’s game on the court is a work in progress.

"I’ve never played organized basketball. I’ve only played for fun,” said Lauren.

“I hope those skills will work out and help me.”


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