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Pin It to Win It: Senior Baker North stands out in varsity seasons

At+Meet+the+Wrestlers+Night%2C+senior+Baker+North+waits+to+be+introduced+to+the+crowd+to+kick+off+the+winter+season.+Along+with+being+a+varsity+wrestler%2C+North+is+also+a+varsity+football+player+who+recently+committed+to+Arkansas+State+to+continue+his+football+career.+%E2%80%9CI+committed+to+Arkansas+State+after+my+official+visit+on+Dec.+3+and+loved+it%2C%E2%80%9D+North+said.+
Addy Burris
At Meet the Wrestlers Night, senior Baker North waits to be introduced to the crowd to kick off the winter season. Along with being a varsity wrestler, North is also a varsity football player who recently committed to Arkansas State to continue his football career. “I committed to Arkansas State after my official visit on Dec. 3 and loved it,” North said.

During the fall sports season, senior Baker North sports shoulder pads and a helmet for football, ready to protect the quarterback. Then in the winter, he transitions to the wrestling mat as he sizes up his opponents and attempts to pin them down to win the match. 

North has been involved in sports his whole life and has been wrestling since he was 5.

“My first wrestling memory was when my mom was yelling at me during my first match,” North said. “I realized I could not hear anybody else but her. She has a voice that just strikes through a crowd.”

Around the same time, North began his football journey. His first flag football team was on a YMCA team with his dad as the coach.

“The only real memory I have is that whenever anybody was hurt, we would call in the ‘Wambulance’ where they would give us a Hello Kitty Band-Aid,” North said.

Standing at 6 feet 3 inches tall, he is a heavyweight wrestler and center on the offensive line in football. According to North, he relies on both his size and skills to succeed. 

“I would not say that I am particularly talented, though I do have the gift of being big,” North said. “I did have to work on my skills a lot because it did not come naturally to me. I think a combination of everything I did as a kid, like wrestling, football and rugby, all contributed to me being a better player.”

North officially committed to Arkansas State University, a Division I school, for football. On Dec. 3, he went to the university to meet the members of the team.  

“I had time to sit down with the guys and talk with them, figure out who they were, rather than just the players that they are,” North said.

According to North, he would not have been able to make it to this point without the help of his parents who have supported him in his athletic endeavors.

“My mom has always been my number one supporter and has pushed me to succeed in everything that I have done,” North said. “My dad was always there to help with little stuff. He loves to talk about sports.”

He is also grateful for his coaches in both football and wrestling for giving him opportunities to develop his skills and connections.

“All the coaches that I have had along my way [have helped me], including my uncle, who started the college wrestling team at Northern Oklahoma College in Oklahoma and went to Mizzou to wrestle,” North said. “I have gotten to meet coaches with multiple state championships in wrestling through Miege along with Coach Holmes and Tim Grunhard, the line coach, an NFL Hall of Famer.”

North received offers from Division II colleges, including Pittsburg State University and Northwestern Missouri State University. However, his visit to Arkansas State University confirmed his commitment to the school.

“It is going to be a lot of me running under Jacob Bayer of Arkansas State who was the first-team all-conference player,” North said. “Learning from him will be a great step for me as a player, and just me getting, oddly enough, bigger and stronger.”

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Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer
Addy Burris, Staff Writer

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