Northside senior Bailee Turpin knew once he visited Alderson Broaddus in Philippi, W.Va., the school was the perfect fit for him. On Friday, he got one step closer to suiting up for the Battlers.
Turpin signed with Alderson Broaddus in a ceremony at Northside. With his family, Northside head coach Morgan Ingram and the football team on hand, Turpin had a chance to celebrate his time as a Patriot while finalizing his college plans.
“It’s a feeling I can’t describe,” Turpin said. “After all the hard work, sweat, blood, tears you put into the game, you finally get the opportunity to go to the next level, it’s something you can’t put into words. It’s something you cherish inside yourself. It’s a surreal feeling.”
Turpin was especially thankful to his family, including his grandparents, who drove from Athens to share in his special moment.
“They’ve been behind my back every step of the way,” Turpin said. “Since little league, concussions, minor injuries, stuff like that, they’ve been behind me and kept pushing me. The times I thought I couldn’t keep going, they’re the ones who kept me going and kept me fighting.”
Turpin said the Alderson Broaddus coaching staff voiced their interest in him after watching his film. Shortly thereafter, Turpin took a visit. Once he walked in the locker room and saw the uniforms, he was convinced it was where he wanted to go to college. He plans to major in sports management and hopes to get into coaching once he graduates.
Ingram said Turpin is one of the hardest working players in the school, which will help him immensely once he arrives at Alderson Broaddus. Turpin said he is excited to carry what he learned as a Patriot and build on it going forward.
“As a player, I feel like I’ve always prided myself on my technique and my ability to practice until it’s perfect,” Turpin said. “(I can bring) the skills I’ve acquired here (at Northside) along with the technique I’ve taught myself throughout the years.”
The chance to celebrate Turpin’s signing was something Ingram relished in.
“These moments are always very satisfying, to see a young man grow for four years and then get the opportunity to do something he loves,” Ingram said. “We want to see our kids succeed and get the opportunities they want. It’s like icing on the cake.”
When asked about his senior season, Turpin’s mind went back to Sept. 30, when the Patriots beat Columbus 24-23. Turpin thought about walking across the field that day and celebrating the win over the crosstown rival with his team and the fans.
“That’s the memory I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life,” Turpin said.
With his football future now secured with Alderson Broaddus, Turpin still had to convince himself that what he’s been working for has come to fruition.
“I can’t quite put it into words,” Turpin said. “It’s a surreal moment, to finally realize your dreams have come true.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports