LUVERNE -- Family is an important word in the life of Luverne High School senior Bailey Cowell. The versatile Cardinal athlete is part of a basketball team where the word “Family” literally adorns the players’ warm-up jackets. He has also begun his own real family.
More on that later. What endears Cowell to Luverne sports fans is that he’s an outstanding player and a leader in three sports -- baseball in the spring, football in the fall and basketball in the winter. Not only does he have the look of a natural athlete, he also understands his sports well.
He is athletic enough that when he plays, he flows gracefully from moment to moment as if he’s anticipated it before it actually happens. Gifted athletes tend to do that.
Football is a good example of Cowell’s athletic prowess. It’s certainly a testament to his versatility, because the team used him in a variety of roles -- all of which he performed well. He was a wide receiver, a quarterback, and a running back on offense, and a cornerback on defense. He plans to be a wide receiver in college, though he has yet to commit to a particular school.
This winter, Cowell’s quickness, his anticipation, and his jump shot are helping the Luverne boys basketball team to the makings of a fine season. With a victory against winless St. James Area on Monday, the Cards moved to 4-0. They opened with a 64-31 win over a Jackson County Central team that qualified for state last season, then roared out of the gate with a 19-1 lead over Worthington en route to win No. 2, then after that showed they can win the close one with a 57-56 triumph over Martin County West. So far, so good.
Now that he’s back to playing sports, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be just another obstacle for the Cardinals to deal with, no more bothersome than an aggressive man-to-man defense. Cowell said it has been difficult mentally to compete on the court without seeing the usual amount of fans rooting on the Cardinals, but it obviously hasn’t stopped them from winning.
“It’s nice to be back,” he said.
This week’s Globe Drill subject, then, is a student, an athlete, and … a father. Whereas other high school seniors look forward to watching movies or playing video games with their friends, when Cowell hangs out, he enjoys hanging with his daughter.
And, yes, he changes diapers, too.
To see our Bailey Cowell video, you can go online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: What’s the story behind your ‘Family’ basketball warm-ups?
ANSWER: “We’re building a family relationship, and it’s helping us a lot on the court. On the front we have ‘Family’ on our warm-ups, and that came from one of our seniors last year. We have a Snapchat group chat, and they changed the name to Family. So we decided to put that on our warm-ups.”
QUESTION: What’s your favorite sports memory -- a memory that you’ll always remember?
ANSWER: “My favorite memory from high school sports is winning the Battle Axe my junior year (in football). In the locker room we were just dancing and having fun. It was a lot of fun. I’ll forever remember that. The Battle Axe is between the Pipestone Arrows and the Luverne Cardinals, and the winner gets a battle axe.”
QUESTION: Tell us the most unusual thing about you that not everybody knows.
ANSWER: “Some people don’t know that I have a daughter, and she was born on Sept. 14. I love her a lot. Seeing my little girl smile or giggle makes my day.
“Oh yeah, I change diapers. At the beginning I wouldn’t always change the poopy diapers. My girlfriend would always do it and I would always get the other ones. But eventually I caught on and started changing all of ‘em. No, it’s not too bad.”