Player of the Pine Belt: North Forrest wide receiver Demarco Baker

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:23 PM CDT
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EATONVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - Milton Talbert is bringing championship pedigree to North Forrest.

The former Hattiesburg High standout and 2009 national champion with Alabama puts on his head coaching cap.

“You have to love your players, number one, and you have to genuinely care for them and I think players see that,” Talbert said. “We’ll be connected forever. It just won’t be they play for North Forrest and that’s it. No, I plan on showing up to some of these guys’ weddings. Hopefully they give me some invitations.”

It’s been a perfect marriage so far between first-year head coach Milton Talbert and the North Forrest Eagles.

The team shares their coach’s enthusiasm – eager to take the field after the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“Coach Talbert, that’s my guy,” said North Forrest senior wide receiver Demarco Baker. “He came in here with a lot of energy. Even if you’re down, he’ll bring laughter to you.”

As is the custom in Eatonville, Baker has to pull double duty – playing both wide receiver and defensive end this season.

“We’ve been preparing for this,” Baker said. “We’ve been doing conditioning, we’ve been doing everything I need to be prepared to play both sides. Even on special teams, if I have to play special teams. Wherever coach need me, that’s where I’m going to play.”

“Demarco – great kid, hard worker, great positive attitude,” Talbert said. “Team guy. He’s willing to play receiver, play end, play tight end. We just have a great group of seniors who are willing to work and help make us better.”

North Forrest has adopted coach Talbert’s philosophy from the get-go – and that’s to improve every day.

If the Eagles stay true to that, they may just surprise some folks this season.

“We were underdogs the past few years but this year we’re going to bring something different,” Baker said. “They’re going to think we’re underdogs until we hit the next person in the mouth. I still got confidence in my team. Like my coach said: I.E.D., improve every day.”

“I’ve seen a lot of hunger and I’ve also seen a lot of I.E.D. and that’s our motto – improve every day,” Talbert said. “I ask our kids to come out here and just improve every day and try to get better. We don’t care about wins or losses, I just want to see that effort that they’re willing to improve off the field, in the classroom, academics, on the field. And just trying to be better people.”

North Forrest opens its season on August 27 vs. Mount Olive.

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