Diamond in the Rough: Chance Bailey

Chance Bailey is a linebacker in the class of 2024 for Ball High School of Galveston, Texas. Measuring 5’10 and 195 lb., he had an impressive junior year in which he was named to the all-district first team, and he is looking to continue to help Ball High School rebuild its stature as a Texas high school football powerhouse. A self-described “undersized” linebacker, he more than makes up for it with his lightning quick ability to read opposing plays and quarterbacks. Excelling both as a run stopper and in coverage, Chance is looking forward to the 2023 season as a chance to continue to display his ability and is sure to continue to turn a lot of heads with his skill.

Chance Q&A:

Q: What are are some motivations for why you started playing football and what keeps you going today?

“The motivations are being able to obtain a free education by playing football and having the opportunity to bring Ball High to where it once used to be because it was a big powerhouse. What keeps me going today is encouragement from my teammates because that’s one thing we all emphasize in the weight room. Encouragement, making sure your teammate knows that they are doing a good job. Also the progress we’ve seen so far, because over the past couple of years we’ve seen major progress but we’re still not where we want to be yet.”

Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your coach?

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to go 1-0 in everything you do. Every rep going 1-0, every drill going 1-0, every play going 1-0.”

Q: What are your biggest strengths on and off the field?

“On the field my biggest strength is my mind. I watch a lot of film, so I would say my biggest strength is knowing the play that’s coming at me before the ball is snapped. I’m big on knowing pre-snap cues and stuff like that. Off the field my biggest strength would also be my mind, I feel like I’m a smart person.”

Chance running to make a tackle (photo via Chance Bailey)

Q: What activities outside of football keep you ready and sharp for the season?

“Going to the gym after school, running track, working out on the weekends, just making sure I keep my body in shape and ready for next season.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?

“My sophomore year, it had been 15 years since we made the playoffs, and we beat Laporte in the last game of the season to clinch our first playoff spot since then. That was a really big memory to me because all the seniors were used to having losing seasons and it was their first year winning a district game. Seeing all my teammates celebrate that and being happy about that was special.”

Q: Do you have any current goals?

“My current goal is to be a better leader for my teammates because it’s my senior season so I want to be someone they can look at and follow by example.”

Q: Do you ever find the student-athlete balance difficult?

“Sometimes it is difficult, because you’re tired and don’t really feel like doing school work.”

Q: What do you look for in a college?

“That they develop people as men, because you’re out in the world on your own at that point. Also a great education because I want to make sure I get a great degree out of my football career. Probably also a great team atmosphere and coaches that genuinely care about you as a person.”

Chance jogging out onto the field with his teammates (photo via Chance Bailey)

Q: Do you have an NFL player you compare yourself to or model your game after?

“Fred Warner, he’s a little bit of an undersized guy. He’s not a big huge linebacker and I’m also somewhat undersized as well but we still find a way to make plays.”

Q: How would describe yourself as a player to a college recruiter?

“A downhill linebacker that you can plug into any spot in your defense, even if it’s not linebacker. I’m going to understand the defense fast and be able to help my teammates make plays or make as many plays myself as I’m needed to.”

Q: Do you have an inspirational figure in your life?

“My trainer Donnie Baggs, he played linebacker like me and he’s played everywhere. He played for the Cowboys so he’s like my inspirational figure.”

Q: Do you have a pre-game routine?

“Usually, before the games, I have my headphones in playing nothing but NBA Youngboy, he usually gets me in that mode.”

Chance yelling in excitement before a game (photo via Chance Bailey)

Q: Do you have any advice for first-time varsity players?

“Just to stick to it, the workouts are hard and coaches are hard on us but they’ve been to where we want to get this team to go so they know how to get there. Keep all ears open and listen to what they’re saying because they actually care about you and want to help you.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football movie?

“The Blind Side”