Tara Bailes participated in a soccer signing ceremony at Catholic High School on Friday with teammate Anne Prenger. She has chosen to continue her career with Division I Missouri State where she will play for Coach Rob Brewer. I asked Coach Brewer about the role he expects Tara will play for the Bears.
We expect Tara to compete for a spot in the midfield. We think her ability to deliver accurate passes and to hold the ball will help us offensively. She is also very tough in the box and will score her share of goals. Tara is a very determined, hard working athlete that should fit into our system very well.
Tara is one of two seniors on the Springfield Catholic squad, with Anne Prenger, a 1st team All-State player and All-Ozarks member as a junior. She played with Springfield SC this past Fall while prior to that she was traveling to St Louis where she was a member of St Louis SC (formerly Busch SC). The recruiting path was somewhat unusual as the Bailes and Brewer families are very close as any observer of the Springfield Soccer community can ascertain. So the challenge in this case was not making MSU aware of Tara’s skills but whether she would choose to play for the hometown squad. Here’s what Coach Brewer offered on that question:
Tara is an example of the improving talent level in the Springfield area. It is exciting to add such a highly respected local player. I hope that this is the beginning of a trend that will see more local players choose to compete for Missouri State.
It is a great sign. And now that it’s a done deal, I can share with you how excited her parents are about the opportunity to watch Tara play at Missouri State. Her father is a graduate of SMSU where he played baseball for the Bears. Words cannot describe the look on his face when I discussed with him last Fall the possibility that Tara would ‘stay home’ and play at his alma mater. The energy was palpable and I’m guessing it will be awhile before the smile is wiped off his face. Congratulations to Tara, her family and the Irish who send one of their finest to the Bears.
Pictured at the ceremony above
front row: (Grandma) Ann Cashel, Tara, (Grandma) Kay Bailes
back row: JoAnna Bailes, Scott Bailes, (grandpa) Dave Bailes