HomeSportsJCS’ Baines scoring goals, aims to play soccer in college

JCS’ Baines scoring goals, aims to play soccer in college

Taylor Baines is playing catch-up right now.

The senior soccer player at Jackson Christian is making up for lost time after an injury led to her making the decision that she does want to keep playing soccer in college.

“I suffered a back injury last year that kept me in a brace and kept me away from all sports for more than three months,” said Baines, who’s scored 22 goals so far while leading the Lady Eagles to a 9-3 record as they near the end of the regular season.

Those three months were the latter part of the club spring season of soccer with Jackson Soccer Club in 2022 and all of summer, which meant she spent all that time not parting in any physical activity because she had two broken vertebrae in the lumbar region of her spine.

She watched soccer, but it killed her not being able to play. She’d played it ever since she was in kindergarten, and this was her first significant injury.

She’s played other sports throughout her time growing up – tennis, basketball and cross country. She even competed in the state cross country championship her freshman year and finished in 23 minutes.

But soccer is what she loves to do.

“I just love the game and love scoring goals,” Baines said.

The three months of not being allowed to play gave her a new appreciation for being able to move freely, but also for playing the sport itself.

That appreciation grew into a desire to continue to play the game after her time at Jackson Christian is done.

But because she didn’t play all of her junior season – she was still recuperating when last season started – she missed out on a key phase in the recruitment of a college athlete.

She’s got one offer so far, from Jacksonville University in Florida. There are coaches at other schools she’s talking to, but she and Eagles coach Darren Goldie are doing their best to get her name and her abilities out there to other coaches to give herself some options to play in college.

She did play enough to score 18 goals last season, but she never felt like she was at 100 percent. She made it through basketball season but really started feeling like her old self again in the spring with spring ball.

She tied a school record in August when she scored six goals in an 8-1 win over North Side. She came close to tying that mark on Sept. 16 when the Lady Eagles beat Tipton-Rosemark 5-2, and she scored all the goals.

“She’s quick, and she’s great at getting open, getting a clear shot on the goal and scoring,” Goldie said. “She’s going to sign with a college in the next few months, and whatever school that is, they’re getting a good one that will be an asset to their program.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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