Ty Baker is prompt.
The Fort Osage senior quarterback, who has committed to play football at Missouri State University, was the first to arrive for an interview session in activities director’s Ryan Schartz’s office.
“No surprise,” Schartz said, “Ty has been a leader since he first arrived at the school. I could tell it back when he was a freshman.”
Baker was one of a handful of freshmen Schartz took to the state championship game back in 2015 when quarterback Skylar Thompson led the Indians to a 68-23 Class 5 state championship win over Chaminade to claim the first state title in program history.
Thompson, now the starter at Kansas State, finished his career with a remarkable 37-3 record as the Fort Osage starting quarterback and capped it with a 455-yard, seven-touchdown performance in that state title game.
Now, Baker has the opportunity to follow in Thompson’s footsteps and help Fort Osage claim state title No. 2.
The 9-4 Indians, who started an injury-plagued season with a 3-4 record, take on St. Louis Vianney at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl title game at the University of Missouri’s Faurot Field in Columbia.
He said it’s a task he has been preparing his entire life for, and he can’t wait for the opportunity.
“We’re taking a business trip Saturday,” Baker said, as a grinning Schartz nodded in approval. “Nothing fancy, no big sendoffs, we’re not just going to state – we’re going to state to win.
“And by that, I mean, we aren’t just happy about going. We’re going with a focus, an attention to detail and a desire to find a way to win. And that’s not just me saying that. That has been Coach (Brock) Bult’s message all week.”
It’s a message Schartz wholeheartedly agrees with.
“No parades, no police escorts, none of that,” Schartz said. “Our players are getting on the buses Saturday and going to Columbia to try and win a championship game. This is as focused as any team I’ve seen here at Fort Osage, and Coach Bult has a lot to do with.
“You combine that with great leaders like Ty and Von (Young IV, a standout linebacker/fullback) and I think we have a great chance of winning that big game.”
That comment resulted in a nod of approval from Baker.
He had the unenviable task of following Thompson, perhaps the most heralded offensive player in Fort Osage history.
“I never tried to be Skylar,” Baker said, “I just tried to be myself. I did what I could do – because not many players could have done what Skylar did all those years.”
The Indians used perhaps the best defensive performance in recent school history to rout defending state champion Staley 33-3 in state quarterfinal action and added a 46-30 win over Columbia Battle behind a strong offensive performance to punch their ticket to tonight’s big game.
Now, they are hoping to find the perfect blend of offense, defense and special teams play to claim another state title.
“It was so exciting to be on the field as a freshman and watch our team win that first state championship,” Baker said, “and now, Von and I and the other freshmen who went have the chance to win our championship.
“It’s huge, it’s a big deal, but we’re treating it like a business trip.”