“Make every second you have count,” Bailey said.
The senior at Lumberton High School appears to be doing just that.
Bailey’s achievements as a student-athlete earned him The Robesonian/Mountaire Farms Scholar Athlete Award for the month of November. The program’s mission is to highlight male and female student-athletes within Robeson County who excel on the field, in the classroom and in their local community.
“It’s exciting. It’s nice to be recognized for working hard,” Bailey said of the honor.
Academically, Bailey, son of Joe and Laura Lynn, is currently ranked second in his senior class of 455 students with a 4.8056 GPA. He also has first- and second-place Science Olympiad honors to his name and is a National Honor Society student, among other accolades.
On top of that, Bailey is an Eagle Scout, a badge he earned when he was only 14 years old. The average age of boys earning the Eagle Scout rank is 17.
“It teaches you some good life skills,” Bailey said of the scouts. “It helped me mature. You have to show leadership qualities.”
Bailey recently helped lead Lumberton soccer team to a runner-up finish in the 4A Southeastern Conference — a vast improvement from last year’s fifth-place finish — and its first state playoff win since 2005 with a 2-0 victory over Cape Fear. The Pirates fell in the second round to East Lake to finish with an 11-12-2 overall record.
“Michael displays outstanding sportsmanship, leadership, work ethic, and is an outstanding role model on and off the field,” Lumberton soccer coach Kenny Simmons said.
Bailey was instrumental in the Pirates’ banner soccer season. As a captain defender, he finished the fall campaign with a career-high eight goals, garnering honors to the SEC All-Conference team and the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association All-Region team.
Bailey said that one of his best memories this season was scoring the game-winning goal in the final moments against league rival Scotland for a 4-3 victory on Sept. 26.
“That proved to be the difference between us (and Scotland) getting third in the conference,” he said.
Additionally, Bailey, a three-sport athlete, is a reigning regional qualifier and captain of the swim team and a returning all-conference and co-MVP performer of the tennis team.
His studies, however, are his top priority.
“When you have the opportunity for free time, enjoy it, but you always have to remember school first,” Bailey said. He wants to attend North Carolina State University and major in chemical engineering next fall.
Reach sports editor Kaleb Roedel at (910) 272-6111 or email@example.com.