In seven weeks, a Kentucky teen went from being his high school football team’s mascot to its star quarterback.
At the beginning of the 2012 season, Trent Bauer, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High, had little football experience, according to MaxPreps.com. As team mascot for the Bulldogs, he wore a bulldog costume on the sidelines, and in the past, had only ever played organized football for a year at age 10.
One day this fall, he asked his coach if he could try going out on the field.
"I didn't know he was the mascot. If I had known, I probably wouldn't have stuck him in," Coach Derrick Thomas told ABC News, laughing. "It's like a movie script, couldn't write it any better."
Bauer wasn't sure if Thomas would agree, since he hadn’t been through the rigorous pre-season training, but the coach decided to use Bauer as a junior varsity player. According to NBC Sports, it was during those games and at practices that Thomas and the other coaches noticed Bauer’s good arm.
So they decided to put it to the test at the varsity level. Bauer, at 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, got to be starting quarterback in a high-stakes game in mid-October.
In it, the Bulldogs faced Henry Clay, a rival they hadn’t beaten for a decade. According to the coaching staff, the newbie player seemed nervous through the first three quarters of the game.
Then, when the team needed to score to clinch a victory, Bauer tossed a 50-yard pass down the field with only seconds to spare. Thomas said the resulting 22-19 win was quite the feat.
“We were down the whole game, made a comeback, then won in the last seconds with a quarterback who was the mascot at the beginning of the year,” Thomas told Larry Brown Sports.
Bauer, too, was taken aback at his unusual path to success.
"It's amazing," he told the Lexington Herald Leader. "I didn't think this would ever happen in my lifetime."