Dalton Baggett has grown up enjoying bowling, spending much time playing at his uncle’s bowling ally, and chose to take the sport more seriously when West Union established their team three years ago.
For the second consecutive year and only a couple months after helping the Eagles to their first boys championship, Baggett was one of three bowlers selected in the state to attend the ‘Pop Stars Awards,’ held at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson.
The honor comes a year after teammate Brandon Scott was named the state’s ‘Bowler of the Year’ at the same banquet, and while he did not bring the title home to West Union, he was still honored to have the chance to attend the banquet, which invites the top three athletes in each sport and activity sanctioned by the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
“I was really honored. My coaches really helped me a lot, and it helps a lot that my uncle owns the bowling ally, so I’ve had a lot of positive influence and it’s been great,” he said.
Baggett and the Eagles claimed the school’s first state championship boys bowling, edging defending champion East Union. To him, the one thing he is most proud of is being apart of something that is growing in popularity and helping those who join the team.
“East Union has had a good team the past few years, and it’s been pretty much the same bowlers. We had a pretty good team this year, winning five of eight matches and tying with Tupelo, so it was a good year,” he said of the 2010-2011 season. “The younger ones really like it, and it’s picking up even more and growing in popularity throughout the area.”
Baggett credits his coaches, Brenda and Earl White, for their help in his growth as a player and looks forward to, what he hopes, will be a successful senior year.
“Mrs. White and Mr. Earl help out a lot. They’ve taught me pretty much everything I know, and they’re really good working with the younger kids, so it’s been great working with them,” he said.
“Next year, we’ll be building a new team. We’ve lost one of our main bowlers, so I’m looking forward to stepping up and helping with the younger members.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum sponsor the Pop Stars Awards, and the winners are selected by the staff of the Clarion Ledger.