If there’s one thing Fort Stockton senior Cade Bayer wants to leave behind for his younger teammates after graduation, it’s his enthusiasm.
On game days for the Panthers’ football team, Bayer made sure to keep his teammates and the home crowd pumped up for the action in front of them.
He also took that same approach to his school work, securing a 3.2 GPA to finish out his time as a member of Fort Stockton High School’s Class of 2021.
With Bayer’s high school graduation near, he hopes he set a good example for the underclassmen that will be taking his spot after he departs for the University of North Texas.
Bayer will major in education at the university in Denton, looking to pursue a career as a life skills teacher.
He mainly wants to teach younger children about being fiscally responsible and how to handle any financial issues that may arise on their journey to adulthood.
“I decided, ‘Let me be a life skills teacher and teach them the basic necessities of life,’” he said. “The steps like filing a check, writing out a check and opening up a banking account.
“[It’s] kind of like economics, but it’s how you’re going to use it.”
At Fort Stockton, Bayer competed in football, powerlifting and golf.
He was a letter winner in each sport and also became a two-time regional qualifier in powerlifting.
Fort Stockton head football coach Mike Peters said Bayer worked hard in academics and athletics to get to where he is as a senior.
Peters believes Bayer is geared toward being a teacher and coach when he gets his college degree.
“Once he makes his mind up to do something, he usually sees it through no matter how long it is going to take him,” Peters said.
Losing a student-athlete like Bayer is a sad realization for Peters, but the head coach is proud of the growth his player displayed throughout his high school career.
Bayer said he wasn’t always as enthusiastic as he seemed in his final two years at Fort Stockton, describing himself as a “sideline warrior” on the football team.
His attitude changed when he attended a high school state championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, noting the excitement from the fans in the stands.
He wanted to bring that energy back to his team, so by his junior year he tried his hardest to keep everyone motivated when the Panthers took the field.
When Bayer heads to North Texas, he plans on taking a year away from sports to see how it feels balancing a schedule that leans heavily toward academics.
“I think it will give me a breath of fresh air,” he said. “It gives me a breath of fresh air and a lot more time to focus on school without having to balance any sports and practices.”
Bayer is ready for the transition that will come with moving from Fort Stockton to Denton.
He first interacted with the city on a choir trip to Texas Woman’s University, immediately taking a liking to his surroundings.
He found out about the university and decided that was where he wanted to continue his studies.
As his time in high school winds down, Bayer had three memories that stood out the most to him.
The first was seeing his team win a district championship in a back-and-forth football battle against Andrews last season.
The second was being named Fort Stockton’s Homecoming King and the third was securing a spot at the regional tournament in powerlifting.
Peters said Bayer was an example of what his athletic department wants its students to be.
“He showed every day that if you come in, work hard and do things right, at some point in your career academically or athletically you’re going to be a success,” he said.
>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya
>> Academic Rank: 32 of 100
>> Sports: Football; Powerlifting; Golf
>> Academic bio: 3 college classes; 3.2 GPA on a 4-point scale
>> Athletic bio: Football (2 letters; 2021 Panther Award Recipient; Homecoming King); Powerlifting (3 letters; two-time regional qualifier; 2021 FSHS Top Lifter); Golf (3 letters)
>> Activities: Choir
>> College and major: University of North Texas (Education)
>> Goals for the future: To become a life skills teacher
>> Favorite subject: Math
>> Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
>> Favorite musician: Queen
>> Role model: My dad