By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– When North Marion Head Coach Jon Santos met Samantha Baylie before her Junior year with the Canby Rebels as he sat in the North Marion cafeteria Thursday afternoon looking on with the ‘NM’-banners hanging behind a table draped in a North Marion tablespread; the second-year Huskies coach saw the payoff of Baylie’s vision and passion coming to fulfillment.
“One of the coolest things I’ve seen and witnessed as a coach is to see them blossom and grow to their full potential to the next level and that’s what she’s doing. She has had a goal set in mind going into her freshman year and when I first picked her up as a Rebel, she had this vision to go to College,” said Santos.
“I became her High School Coach and she had that same strong vision, she locked it down during the season and I couldn’t be more happy for her. She’s doing what she’s suppose to do.”
That strong vision and that ability to blossom and grow showed itself in 2018 for Baylie for example when the Junior, who already established herself as an All-League type player in the outfield, traded the grass of the outfield for the dirt in the infield where she received Oregon West Conference League awards as a First-Team All-Leaguer.
She helped North Marion with a jump from one win in 2017 to seven in Santos first season this past Spring. Baylie would rejoin her High School coach once more during the Summer of 2018 with the Rebels and the Blaze Unite Elite 18A team where Baylie made a return to the Outfield for both squads, contributing to both squads while working on her craft entering her Senior Year.
Now a few weeks removed from her last Fall Softball game with the Blaze Unite Elite 18A team, Baylie walked up to that draped table. Family in the crowd, friends in attendance. Santos and Neil Forste sitting amongst the crowd supporting Baylie as she signed to play softball at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
The wait is over as she signed her name onto the paper saying that she’s a Saint.
“Oh I mean I was very nervous, but it’s good to have a plan and know where you’re going to go in the Fall and not be stressed about, ‘Oh I don’t know where I’m going to go. Oh what am I going to do’,” said Baylie. “It’s definitely not easy going to hit every single day, wanting to go out with friends. But you have to push through and I’m super excited because I worked up to this.”
And as she finishes up signing on the dotted-line and the pictures with people started, one of the girls that came up was Rebels teammate and future Mt. Hood Community College teammate Emily Elliott from Dayton High School.
“I’m super stoked about it, I didn’t really think of Mt. Hood as a future thing until I went there and I instantly fell in love with the campus. Then I found out she was going there too, so I got really excited,” said Elliott. “At least I know a friend that is going into College, so I’m super excited about that and I won’t be alone going into it.”