Photo by Tayhlor Sims
ROXANA − Some people try hard to forget. Bailey McGuire is working hard to remember.
The junior, a standout athlete and the AdVantage News’ Prep Volleyball Player of the Year, is recovering from an injury she sustained in an automobile accident three months ago. She’s maintaining a positive attitude as her power of recall is continuing to return.
“Her skills are there, but not her memory – yet,” Roxana volleyball coach Mike McKinney said.
Mom Kelly added, “Bailey had a traumatic brain injury and she was in the hospital from Nov. 9 through the last part of December. She came home on Dec. 27 to start her rehab.”
Bailey McGuire said she’s feeling fine and is maintaining a positive attitude, which is always part of the rehabilitation. McGuire figures time is on her side – the time to heal.
“I feel OK and things are coming back to me in different ways,” she said. “I’ve been working out three times a week to play volleyball and I’ve been doing a lot of hard stuff to build strength.”
The running and jumping will come later. McGuire intends to play select volleyball and then return for a stellar senior season. Her junior one couldn’t have been any more proficient.
She proved to be the catalyst for a Roxana team that posted a 24-12 record and established a school record for victories. It was their first regional title in 10 years.
And McGuire was at the forefront of it, including a Class 3A regional championship. The Shells defeated Jersey in the regional finals at Roxana’s Milazzo Gym before bowing to Springfield in the Mattoon Sectional.
The 5-foot-10 McGuire logged 276 kills, 229 digs and had a 94 percent serving percentage, complete with 43 aces. She stirred the Shells but shared the spotlight, McKinney said.
“Bailey is a very humble person and she’s a leader. She’s never satisfied with what she does, but she has a great instinct for the game,” he said.
So McGuire has a knack for getting to the ball and doing something with it, mainly providing a key kill or perhaps a block on the front line.
“Without a doubt, she’s the best all-around player and hitter we’ve had,” said McKinney, the Shells’ head coach the past two decades. “Bailey also has a lot of heart.
“She’s not the only reason we won 24 matches this season, but she’s a big reason we won that many matches. I don’t think she had a bad match the entire season. She led by example.”
McKinney foresees McGuire serving a similar role for the Shells in the fall of 2014. But now she is taking it day by day in the road back to recovery.
“She’s a fighter, so if the doctor clears her to play, she’ll play,” McKinney said of her rehab. “There aren’t too many kids who have done what she has already done in this short of time. She’s working at it and continues to stay positive. Bailey isn’t a quitter and she is inspiring other players and other students at the high school.
“I think we’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” McKinney said.
When all those lights turn bright again, McGuire will remember a most remarkable season.