Bailey Hughes a longtime member of the Lyco family
The thoughts have crept into Bailey Hughes’ mind this week about today being the last football game he’ll ever play. The three-year starting left tackle for Lycoming has been a staple of the Warriors’ offense for those three years.
He was the player head coach Mike Clark could always write into the lineup each week without hesitation. He’s played through bumps and bruises. And through shuffling of the offensive line and graduations, he’s been the one constant over the last three years.
“He’s really steady. Smart, athletic, tough,” Clark said. “Bailey is kind of like a quiet tough guy. Physically and mentally he’ll do what you want. He’s just always there.”
Hughes’ journey with Lycoming has been more than just a four-year trek. He was coming to game at David Person Field long before Clark and his staff were recruiting him. His older brother, Glen, was a three-year starting center for Clark in the early years of his tenure with Lycoming.
Glen started 26 games for the Warriors before a broken leg his senior year cost him the final month of the season. When Bailey would travel to Williamsport from his family’s home in Forest City, he wasn’t just Glen’s little brother. He was Bailey. He sensed a family atmosphere before he ever stepped foot on campus as a student-athlete at Lycoming.
“I thought that was cool being a younger guy knowing that all these big-time college athletes knew who I was,” Bailey said earlier this week. “I don’t think you get that feel at other places. This is a family place here.”
Between the two brothers, Clark has gotten six productive seasons on the offensive line. Glen was a cerebral center who anchored some very strong offensive lines after transferring in from FCS Iona after his freshman season when the Gaels discontinued the program.
Bailey is much the same kind of player, an intelligent player at left tackle charged with protecting the blind side of both Tyler Jenny and Chase Whiteman over three years. But don’t let their laid-back demeanor off the field fool you, they were ruthless individuals on the field who thrived off the contact.
“Bobby Matoushek, who played here ahead of me in the late 80s, coaches in the Carbondale area and coached Glen,” Clark said. “When Iona dropped the program, he transferred here and we were excited about it, and Glen was a good player for us. We knew he had a younger brother, and for Bailey it came down to between us and Delaware Valley. We’re glad it’s worked out. He got a lot of reps as a freshman and has been a very good player for us for the last three years.”
Bailey Hughes has been a part of a recent tradition of strong left tackles for the Warriors. Garrett Hartman was a two-time all-conference player. Andrew Wagner was an honorable mention all-conference selection. And current Lycoming offensive line coach Pat Taylor was a two-time all-conference selection under both Clark and Frank Girardi.
Clark said recruiting Bailey and the younger brothers of players already at Lycoming is a little different. It’s about being up front with the younger brothers and finding out if they’re interested in following their older brother’s footsteps.
“Some don’t want to follow their brother, they don’t want to be Glen’s younger brother,” Clark said. “And so, if they don’t mind, then you recruit them based on being good players. We tell them we’re not recruiting you because you’re Glen’s brother, we’re recruiting you because we think you can be a good player. That’s exactly what happened in this case.”
“It’s tough because you get compared to Glen a lot,” Bailey said. “The thing that has helped me over the years is I’ve tried my best to be better than him. But at the end of the day he’s my big brother and I owe him so much for everything he’s done for me.”
Bailey Hughes is hoping to help Lycoming finish a disappointing season with a bang today. The Warriors face nationally-ranked Stevenson to close out the season at David Person Field this afternoon.
Hughes looks back on his career, which includes being part of the 2013 MAC championship team, and can be satisfied knowing he gave everything he had to Lycoming football. It’s what makes today bittersweet for the Carbondale graduate. He wants to help Lycoming have an impact on the MAC championship race for Stevenson, but the end of his football career is a tough time.
“My old saying is if you’re going to do something, give it your all,” Hughes said. “That’s how I’ve taken things these last couple years. I made sure to keep myself healthy and done everything I can to keep myself healthy. I’ve been giving it my all the last four years. I’m happy for what football has done for me the last four years because it’s made me a better person and taught me a lot about life in general.”