Chance Bailey continues her busy year of playing football at Doane | High school

Chance Bailey changed directions on Kearney Catholic’s Max McBride on April 12 in Columbus. Bailey signed up to play collegiate football at Doane.

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It’s been a busy year for Catholic central midfielder Scotus Chance Bailey. He completed his high school football spring season in May after an injury scare in January.

This summer, Billy competed in the Nebraska High School Football Show on June 17 in Omaha, and now he’s getting ready to step into the Doane University campus to prepare for his new season in football.

“This year has been crazy. I went to ID camp in January and sprained my patellar tendon there, so I was out even for the first week of training, so I was out for two months. I was scared I didn’t even go to play this year,” Bailey said. “We didn’t finish the way we wanted, but I think as a team sometimes we did really well. I played the All-Star Game in Omaha and the same for CCC (Central Community College), but that got canceled due to the weather. Just doing some grinding. Here at home, practice and conditioning and getting ready to go here in the fall.”

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Bailey said the transfer day is Sunday and he will start training on Monday with the team. After playing in the state championship in his freshman year, Bailey sent a featured tape to college coaches in the area. Duane’s coach Tony O’Dorisio responded, and the rest is history.

“I am so excited just to meet new people, a new environment and of course play football,” he said. “I really hope to have an impact on the program there and I hope it will be in the long run.”

In a team of experienced players, Billy started as a freshman in the Shamrock team and scored one goal and one assist. After his sophomore season was called off due to COVID-19, Bailey said he knew he had to step up due to the team’s inexperience.

Billy's chance

Scotts midfielder Chance Bailey spearheaded an offensive at last year’s state championship. It was the first time Scott had qualified in five years.

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He has used the past two years to mature both physically and mentally. It paid off as Billy led a shamrock with 13 goals and six assists en route to the team’s first state appearance in five years.

“It meant a lot. We had three weeks of training in our second year, and then a week before the matches started, the season was cancelled,” he said. “It was really sad and devastating because we were all going to be kids and not many of us had seen that field, so it could have been a really good time to grow as a team.

“It meant going into my freshman year, I have to come back stronger because we lost a year there and not a lot of the team played a lot of football before, so I knew we needed to play a lot during the holiday period when we could with the COVID restrictions and everything just so we could Make time for competition.

Bailey said that in his junior year, he seemed to be more of a scorer because he only brought back four or five players from 2019 who watched the field. This year, Billy shifted into the role of playmaker with the addition of Schuyler’s transfer Jose Cruz.

Cruz has scored 26 goals this season and Bailey scored 15 goals in addition to 19 assists in one season.

“In my freshman year, I knew I needed to get ahead in order to win games and score some goals. Frank Wenger did a really great job helping me score that year and making us public that and helping when I could,” Bailey said. “I knew that in my senior year we had Jose Cruz. I played with him in the past also during some club work and watched him play and played against him as a little boy and I knew he was something special. I knew I could take some pressure from him, sometimes he puts pressure on me and opens things up. Him. I just loved being a playmaker and sometimes it makes me feel better when I get help instead of a goal.”

Scotus coach BJ Miller said he’s been watching Billy play football since he was little. Billy was described as a novice.

“He understood the game,” Miller said. “He can do everything. Just drive it. The kids looked at him. He started from his first year and that’s because he understands the game.” “A selfless player. He knows when to take a shot and knows when to take it off. He can make things happen. Creative. On top of that, he’s just a great kid all over. The kids flocked to him. He was definitely a great kid. A leader in the team.”

Billy's chance

Scotts midfielder Chance Bailey leads the transition attack on May 7 at Grand Island. Billy broke the school record with 19 assists this season.

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During his first year at Scotus, Bailey said he looked at the older guys and wanted to be a leader like them. He wasn’t outspoken at first, but as his maturity grew, he became a captain for two years at Shamrock.

“I learned that I have to be vocal and lead by example because there weren’t a lot of people willing to do that. I wanted to be me, so I went ahead and lead things on the field and show the role models especially the young players because I know it means a lot to them by showing An example to the players. “Sometimes they are afraid to ask questions if they don’t know what’s going on. It’s always good to have someone to look up to and not be afraid to ask.”

Billy has been playing football since he was four years old. In the coming weeks, he will begin his team career, the one he’s been thinking about since he first started playing the sport.

“It’s something I dreamed about as a kid that I would play college football,” he said. “I’m really excited to start it.”

Sam Ficaro is a sports reporter with the Columbus Telegram. You can reach him via email at

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