Memory of Goshen grad lives on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Sports Editor

Terry Baggett died at age 40 of a heart attack in 1999.

But two year’s later a little girl plucked a name from a helmet and made a home for Terry’s memory in the Goshen High School trophy case.

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Last Friday night, the Eagles played host to Highland Home and prior to the start of the fourth quarter, Forrest Lee – a Goshen alum and current head football coach at Charles Henderson Middle School – held a drawing for an official GHS football helmet. The helmet is worth approximately $140 dollars with the proceeds being used to build two Eagles’ statues for both the high school and elementary school in Goshen. The money is being raised by the Goshen Class of 1977.

"We had one in front of the school when I graduated, but a truck knocked it down and we’d like to see it back up there," said Lee.

Lee had been selling chances on the helmet for the past month and about three weeks ago, Terry’s brother Donnie approached Lee to buy a ticket.

"He told me ‘Forrest, if I win that helmet, I want to put Terry’s name and number on it and donate it back to the school for them to display in their trophy case.’"

Terry graduated with Lee from Goshen on May 26, 1977. They both played football in the fall of ’76 under then-head coach, Clio native, Mickey Teal.

"Terry wore No. 76 and played on both the offensive and defensive lines. He was one of our biggest players and we called him one of our ‘gorillas’, which is what we labeled the interior linemen," said Lee, laughing.

The Baggetts lived just inside the Crenshaw County line, in the Glenwood community, where his mother Chris and his father Edwin still reside. Terry also has a son, Bill, who plays football for Crenshaw Christian in Luverne.

Terry made a prophecy in the Goshen 1977 Yearbook which said, "he would be operating

a Goodwill Store at the flowing well in Glenwood," as his future employment. He was also named "Biggest Woof", or clown, by his classmates in their senior season.

It was that kind of humor that drew people to Terry said his brother.

"Everybody loved him," said Donnie. "He was always outgoing, always happy and he never met a stranger."

After high school, Terry attended McArthur State Technical School where he specialized in air conditioner and refrigerator maintenance. In a questionnaire sent out by the Class of ’77 in 1987, Terry said, "he missed the country, but city living had its advantages" and that he had seen "very few" of his classmates since graduation, but he missed all of them. Plus, Terry added, " I am still mean like my Mom."

On Friday night, Lee went looking for someone to draw the winner’s name.

"I saw two pretty little girls running around and their mother was chasing them," said Lee. "I asked her Ma’am, may I borrow one of your daughters to pull this ticket?’ She said yes."

Unknown to Lee at the time was that the mother, Karen, was the wife of current Goshen head football coach Joe Thornton and the girls were his daughters.

"The little girl reached down there and pulled out a name…Donnie Baggett," said Lee. "It was a special thing and you couldn’t have written it any better. It’s a heck of story and I’m proud for Donnie and his parents."