The newest starting quarterback for the Lansing Catholic Cougars played his first varsity game on Friday night to open to the 2020 season. Joey Baker not only led the Cougars to 43-0 victory over Eaton Rapids but he did so in style by scoring one touchdown through the air and running in for two touchdowns on the ground. When speaking with Joey on Monday afternoon, he explained how each completed pass made his confidence grow even stronger.
“As soon as I released a couple of them I was like that’s a good throw right there and I felt good,” said Joey. “Then the next one I didn’t have to think about messing it up I was just confident that it would get there.”
Joey’s head coach, Jim Ahern, couldn’t be more pleased to have a young confident athlete under center.
“He’s a really mentally tough kid and I think that’s a big part of that position,” said Ahern. “He had a couple bad throws and he just overcame those and so that was good.”
Joey’s path towards taking over the role as the starting quarterback has not been easy. In the offseason he had to master the Cougars game plan while trying to fill the shoes of former starting quarterback, Zach Gillespie, who led the Cougars to the 2019 Division 5 State Championship. However, it definitely helps that Joey’s Dad, Jim Baker, is the Lansing Catholic offensive line coach.
“So in the summer we’d watch film all the time and go over blocking assignments just so I knew what the linemen were doing and I could listen for their cadence and know where they were going to pull to,” said Joey. “So having him is a huge upside.”
Coach Ahern has been thankful over the years for the Baker family.
“His brothers played also, he’s had two brothers who were really key to our success,” said Ahern. “In fact one of his older brothers is actually in the press box for us helping on game nights.”
Joey is the latest baker to be ready to lead the Cougars on Friday nights.
“This year we gotta have that same mentality of just being a dog,” said Joey.
Joey and the Lansing Catholic Cougars will be on the road this Friday night to take on the Ionia Bulldogs. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.