Vicksburg’s Bailey named as the VDN Girl’s Soccer Coach of the Year.

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After securing a district title and appearing in the Class 5A playoffs,Vicksburg High’s Samantha Bailey has been named as the Vicksburg Daily News Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year.

The Missy Gators had a rocky start early in the season but by the time they hit district play they secured some big wins including an 8-0 victory over Provine and a 7-0 win over Forest Hill.

Although she had a very young roster, Bailey didn’t let that stop her from holding her team to high expectations. They secured their second district title under her leadership. “When I think about the big games this season, it’s one in particular that we didn’t come out on top against Florence,” Bailey said.

“Bill Hood is their head coach and we use to work together. He said that he’d play some of his younger girls because he had a much older team who won the state title last year.”

“I was missing a few of my starters that game and we lost 4-0 but,  our girls put more effort into that game than any game.”

As the season went on, the Missy Gators saw their shot at the playoffs and quickly capitalized on the opportunity by knocking off Cleveland Central 6-5. Players like Kennedy Mullins, Alysha Murrell, and Janiyah Gaines stepped up as VHS brought home the win.

Although Bailey is credited with building the Missy Gators into a successful team, she gave much credit to her players, her assistant coach and the parents.

“We have a great group of girls but behind that great group of girls I have a very supportive assistant coach Racquel Hyland, who handled all the things I didn’t have time to handle like food and travel. I had a very supportive group of parents because they go above and beyond to make sure the girls have everything they need,” Bailey said.

The Missy Gators ended their season with more losses than wins. Due to their great district performance, they made the playoffs and were the only all-girls team in Warren County to play beyond the regular season.

“We had a successful season in district play even though our record is not what we want it to be. Especially taking into account who we played, nothing could have been done without the help of those parents and my assistant coach,” Bailey said.

VHS’ season came to an end on Monday night in a tough 7-0 loss to Saltillo. Bailey and the team’s hard work was not judged on one performance which made Bailey an easy candidate for this award.

“I was really down after that game because it was like watching everything you worked hard on come crashing down in 50 minutes. You know that wasn’t a good representation of them and who they are and how they play, but when I found out this was coming, it put it into perspective that no we didn’t get where we wanted to but we’re building great things here,” Bailey said.

Bailey has already begun working on next season. She is excited about the future of her team.

“I’m excited and I think the community is gonna see some good things from Vicksburg and I think these girls are gonna demand the respect that we don’t always get.”

Bailey is now the first person to win the VDN’s Girls soccer coach of the year and she will now move on to assistant coach with the Missy Gators softball team.