‘Don’t take it for granted’: Good Hope’s Paydon Bagwell remembers his playing days

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Good Hope's Paydon Bagwell. (Maddie McKenney/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to one of Good Hope’s multi-sport standouts Paydon Bagwell. Paydon made some great memories both on and off the field during his time at Good Hope. 

“There are so many unforgettable memories looking back on my time at Good Hope. One of the best is definitely beating Etowah this past football season,” Bagwell said. “Knowing that we were the first team to beat them in a region game was one of the best feelings. I’ll never forget the smiles on my teammates’ and coaches’ faces after that game. Also, I can’t forget beating Northside in the second round. Some of my best high school memories were the times that I spent with friends and competing together, whether it was football, baseball, academics, or anything else.”

Paydon feels blessed to have played for some great coaches during his playing days and learned a lot from them.

“My coaches have definitely made a huge impact on my life. The bond that I built with each and every coach that I had throughout my years is something I will always be thankful for,” Bagwell said. “Coach Scott taught me many lessons throughout my four years. Although he taught me many things about football and sports, the most important lesson I learned from him is how to become a man and stay grounded in my faith. There have been so many impacts made on my life from each and every coach that I have had in my four years of high school.”

Going to Good Hope meant so much to Paydon and he learned some valuable lessons in the process. 

“Good Hope was great from the time I walked in the doors as a five-year old until the time I left. Throughout my life as a Good Hope student, the thing that I would say best describes my experience would be family. The Good Hope family, whether it be the community or school, is so accepting and supportive. The support is so unreal and there was never a time at Good Hope that I did not have someone to rely on if I needed help. What I learned the most during my time at Good Hope was just who I am as a person. All of the support and friendships have helped me become the person I am and helped me be prepared for everything ahead of me.”

Paydon will miss Good Hope a ton and became a great leader to the underclassmen.

“First of all, I definitely will miss being in James Shabel under the Friday night lights. That feeling is irreplaceable. I will also miss the friendships, whether it be with classmates, coaches, or teachers.” Bagwell said. “The leadership role is something I think I embraced this past year. I feel like although I was a leader to help others, I think it taught me the most about myself, just learning how to communicate, and work with my teammates and make sure things get done the right way, while holding everyone accountable. I taught the underclassmen that you don’t want to look back and regret not working harder or not doing more, no matter if it’s sports or life in general. I also taught them that they can compete, no matter who they are playing or how much bigger the other person may be. I hope they learned that if you think you can compete with someone, then you can.”

Paydon gave some advice to the students that will be starting high school next month. 

“Just don’t take it for granted. Take every opportunity you get and run with it. Don’t forget to take time and cherish the memories you are making because you don’t want to look back after high school and wish you could have done more.”

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