Something weird happened in Josh Baker’s last high school soccer game – he didn’t score.
The Evans High School senior center-mid was blanked in the Knights’ final game of the year, a 2-0 loss to eventual Class AAAAA champion McIntosh in the first round of the 2014 state playoffs. That couldn’t put a damper on his senior year which saw him break school scoring records, lead his team to a 10-6 record and a trip to the state playoffs and be named the Region 2-AAAAA Player of the Year. All that combined for Baker to be named the 2014 Augusta Chronicle’s Area Boy’s Soccer Player of the Year.
That last game also marked the last game in Baker’s stellar high school career, which saw him start every game for four years. In his final year, Baker scored a school-best 47 goals, adding 33 assists to the mix. In the fall he’ll be heading to the University of Georgia, which doesn’t have a men’s varsity soccer team.
“I’ll definitely miss it knowing I’ll never play another organized game, but I’m ready to move on, ready for college,” said Baker, who will be rooming with best friend and former Evans classmate Dillon Keeler.
Evans head coach Brian Killips will definitely miss his former captain.
“He’s everything you want out of a player and everything you want out of a student,” Killips said. “He’s a 4.0 student and if there’s an equivalent to that on the soccer field, he’s that as well.”
Baker started playing soccer at the YMCA when he was 4 and has achieved in the sport since then. He made the Olympic Development Team for Georgia for three years, but gave that up his sophomore year. He credits his club coaches for much of his success.
“I played for Augusta Arsenal for about 10 years,” said Baker.