KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- West Baker Dance has been playing football for as long as he can remember, inspired by his father who played in college.
“I’ve always looked up to him and wanted to play football like him,” said Dance.
Dance’s teammate and childhood friend Jack Eggleston says he remembers Dance quarterbacking teams for as long as he can remember.
“I’ve known him since we were in kindergarten,” said Eggleston. “He’s been our quarterback since 2nd grade so he’s definitely grown a lot over those years.”
For the past two and a half years West has been QB1 for West’s high school football team.
Head coach Lamar Brown says Dance’s high football I.Q., hard work ethic and leadership makes hime very easy to coach.
“He’s the first one to cut on the film, he’s the first one on the practice field, he’s the first one in the weight room; he leads by example,” said Brown.
Dance’s goal week in and week out, of course, is to get another win for West but aside from winning, it’s being able to play with his friends and create lifelong memories on the field that motivates him too.
West is talented on both sides of the ball this year, picking up wins left and right as the Rebels are currently undefeated on the season and in Class 5A, Region 3.
In their week seven 42-3 win against Clinton, Dance completed 10 of 16 passes for 205 yards and five touchdowns to five different receivers.
Eggleston, a tight end, is one of his top targets and was throwing passes on the money that night.
“Collectively the stats were good, yeah, but he also made just very few mistakes,” said Eggelston. “And [he] probably should’ve had a couple more touchdowns but some of our receivers didn’t come up with them.”
Dance knows he can’t do it alone, giving credit to the team’s stout starting five on the line and has multiple, talented targets.
“Baker knows he’s got a lot of weapons, but he does a good job of reading defenses and getting the ball to the right person,” said Brown.
The Rebels picked up a huge week eight win over new region rival Powell on Thursday, October 8, remaining undefeated in their region and on the season.