Keep Bay in the USA
Each year, more and more Australians are playing starring roles in college football teams across the US, and Western Crusaders young gun Bailey Flint could be the next to add his name to the list.
Flint has been accepted into Orange Coast College in California, but needs help from the Crusaders and Foxes community to raise the funds to attend.
The punter has set up a crowd funding website – www.KeepBayInUSA.com – where he hopes to raise the US $50,000 he needs for two year’s worth of tuition.
OCC is a Junior College, and Flint will play for two years before hopefully scoring a scholarship with a bigger Division One school.
“I went to California on the 28th of January and toured OCC and fell in love with the area,” he explains.
Flint then visited two other colleges, but says: “none of the schools felt more like home than OCC, so I went with my gut and committed to the school under Coach Kevin Emerson.”
Although he has spent time at TE and DE, Flint will focus solely on punting.
The opportunity first came about when the 18 year old attended a punting camp in Las Vegas, where he met the current OCC punter, who passed on Coach Emerson’s details, leading to a visit and an offer.
“Playing at collegiate level has been a dream of mine for a long time, and although it’s only a Junior College, the talent in California means many people that I will play with and against are Division One prospects,” he says.
Flint says while the program isn’t traditionally strong, he believes the school can step up to new heights in the 2015 season, with Coach Emerson coming in to the head coaching position late last year.
“I really like the coach at OCC and believe he will be able to make the program very successful,” he says.
“I’ll be trying my best with team and other recruits to make sure we do so.”
OCC will be another step in an exciting journey for Flint. For the past six months, he’s been living in Utah and going to high school at Layton Christian Academy.
Fellow Crusader Junior Caleb Morgan also made the move to the US, attending the same school, and playing on the same team as Flint.
“It’s made it very easy having my mate here; I’ve got someone I can trust to have my back, the same way I have his,” Flint says.
Flint has not only excelled at football during his time in the States, but at studies too. He’s scored straight A’s and has been admitted to the prestigious National Honours Society.
“It has been great fun, but tough at times,” he recalls.
“But I would do it all again in a heart beat, as I’ve been places and met many people while in my time here that I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life.
“Although football season is over and we’re halfway through term three, I feel that I’ve developed so much as both a player and as a person,” he says.
Flint has already begun training and preparation for his arrival at OCC in July, but will return to Melbourne for a brief visit in June.
He’s planning on hosting an event to raise further tuition funds, but until then, people can help out by donating to the cause via www.KeepBayInUSA.com and following his progress on his Facebook page “Keep Bay In USA”.
Image courtesy: Barend van den Hoek/barendphotos.com