It's been a good year to say the least for junior quarterback Aaron Bailey.
He'd like to make it a bit better.
Bailey's already completed a spectacular regular season. He's thrown for 807 passing yards and nine touchdowns and also leads the team with 989 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns, including a 55-yard tally Friday in Bolingbrook's .
from at least half a dozen Big Ten Conference football programs. He's also one of the .
But for now, Bailey has one goal in mind: to help lead the Raiders to a state championship. That campaign begins Friday when No. 2 Bolingbrook takes on No. .
The Raiders have a , in large part thanks to Bailey and his skill set. But Bailey remains confident and humble when it comes to his athletic abilities.
“My strength is my confidence,” Bailey said. “I’m confident in myself and my teammates. I know if I throw the ball here, my guy will catch it. I also thank God for the talents he’s blessed me with. I thank the Lord for the leadership he’s installed in me. I would’ve had done none of this without him.”
Bailey credits his father, Oliver Carter (nicknamed “O”), with instilling a love of football in him.
“My dad coached me at the younger levels,” Bailey said. “He really influenced me. He’s still teaching me. After Friday games, we will watch film and we would analyze areas I need to improve.”
The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Bailey is in his third year on the varsity squad—he played wide receiver as a freshman and quarterback during his sophomore and junior year campaigns.
“We had Brad Geever, who was a two-year starter at the time, and Aaron wasn’t ready to play quarterback at the varsity level, but I wanted to give him experience,” Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow said. “Aaron had some injuries and was learning as the backup quarterback. We put him in at wide receiver for a body and he ended up being great."
Ivlow is convinced Bailey's a special talent.
“A lot of people compare him to Greg Williams of the 1993 team (that finished second in state),” Ivlow said. “We’ve had big, strong and fast kids play here before, but not at the quarterback position. It’s been awhile since we had a kid with his skills at the quarterback position.”
Despite his success, though, Bailey shares the spotlight and credits his offensive line.
“They’re a key part as to why we are doing well this year,” Bailey said.
Improving has been a continual process for Bailey, who said he is more mentally tough and a better decision maker then in past seasons.
“My freshman year, I didn’t know that much about defense,” he said. “My sophomore year, I was still in the process of picking it up. I feel like I now have a good understanding.”
Bailey's future goals include playing both college football and baseball. He has played varsity baseball the past two seasons and excelled in left field. He had two home runs, 22 RBIs and eight steals last year for the Raiders baseball team.
“It’s not going to be an issue if his college academics are in order and the coaches are open to him playing,” Bolingbrook head baseball coach Chris Malinoski said. “As far as his athletic ability, I don’t see a problem of him playing both sports at that level. I hope some (baseball) scouts watch him this spring.”
Bailey said playing in left field helps with his throwing.
“With me playing outfield, it is the same throwing motion as quarterback,” Bailey said. “If I continued playing infield (he was a shortstop freshman year), those guys sidearm it and that would’ve negatively affected my football throwing.”
Ivlow said "O" helps keep Aaron focused on his studies and high school football.
“Anybody who wants to talk to Aaron has to go through 'O',” Ivlow said.
Right now, Bailey said he's leaning towards Northwestern, which stands out because of its interest, strong academics and proximity to home.