Former Eastside state champion wrestler Trevor Bailey was killed Saturday in a single vehicle crash when his vehicle struck a tree off Elks Club Road. He was 21.
Bailey was driving southbound on Elks Club Road around 10:40 p.m., two-tenths of a mile north of Glengarry Chase Road, when he lost control of his 2006 Ford F150 in a curve.
The Ford F150 left the roadway and struck a tree killing Bailey. Alcohol was not involved and a seat belt was not in use. Bailey was the only person in the vehicle.
Bailey, a 2009 Eastside graduate, won the individual Class AAA wrestling championship for the 140-pound weight class that same year. He was a part of the "Golden Three" along with Joel Stafford (125-pound) and Jonathan Palmer (160-pound), who also won state championships in 2009, and was a key member of the Eagles team that won back-to-back traditional state championships in 2008 and 2009.
"Trevor was not the only reason for the success of Eastside with four area titles, a state runner-up, and two state titles, but I can say without a doubt that without Trevor Bailey there would have been no state titles and only two area titles," former Eastside coach Michael Smith Foot said. "We needed every point, every placer and every man. Trevor's accomplishments on the mat ensured the team's success."
After finishing runner-up in the 135-pound weight class in 2008, Bailey put together a season to remember in 2009. He entered the state wrestling companionships fresh off a Region 8-AAA individual title and steamrolled through his bracket in Gwinnett at the state tournament. He finished the year with a sparkling 35-1 record.
Bailey was a keen motivator for his teammates and led by example. Competing in what are traditionally considered some of the most competitive weight classes throughout his career at Eastside, Bailey left it all on the mat during practices as well as matches.
"As steel sharpens steel so does one man sharpen another," Smith Foot said. "Trevor was tough enough to wrestle varsity all four years and take the abuse (when younger) from older wrestlers like Gabe Gamadanis, Joey Montgomery, Andre White and Tim Sloan. When he became an upper classman, it was his turn to be the brutal teacher we needed to help finish the development of his peers as well as build the men underneath him."
Bailey was also an inspiration to younger brother Tyler who followed his brother's footsteps into wrestling at Eastside. Tyler Bailey won the family's second wrestling title in 2011 and is the reigning Class AAA champion in 103-pound weight class.
"I always try to compete with him," he said after winning his championship. "Everything he's done I either tried to do or do better."
Back in February, Tyler Bailey credited Trevor in helping him bring home a second state title medal.
"He was there coaching me in the final and he really helped me in that match," he said.
Trevor Bailey earned a wrestling scholarship to Darton College where he wrestled in 2010. He transferred to Marion Military Institute where he earned All-American honors in 2011. But he will be best remembered as one of the "Golden Three" that helped the Eagles win back-to-back state championships.
"He was an integral part of the only two wrestling championships the county has seen," Eastside athletic director Bruce McColumn said. "His parents were avid supporters and were always involved and they will continue to live that legacy through their younger son. Our thoughts go out to his family and my heart goes out to the whole Eastside family."
Funeral services will be today at 2 p.m. at The Church of Covington.
"Just as I can say without Trevor Bailey there are no state titles, I can say without Trevor Bailey there are many state placers and area champions that would not have developed without his brutal style of wrestling present in the Eastside practices," Smith Foot said. "The team needed Trevor Bailey and I needed Trevor Bailey."