Justin Baxley (21) is an assistant editor at Youngspeak. He is a junior at Mercer University, majoring in journalism and criminal justice with a minor in napping. He is the sports editor at The Mercer Cluster and occasionally edits things.
Baxley was born with a golf club in his hand, and his love of sports grew from there. At the age of 5, he won his first golf tournament and received the greatest trophy known to man, a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. His favorite golfers are Tiger Woods and Payne Stewart. It was the first real “team” or “individuals” that he ever rooted for. The day Payne Stewart died was like someone in his family had been taken from him.
Around the age of 3 or 4, he discovered the Atlanta Braves and the Dallas Cowboys. His love for football and baseball became more of a passion. He had memorized the stats of every Brave and knew the starting lineup and rotation by heart. Maddox, John Rocker and Chipper Jones were his heroes on the diamond. On the football field, Troy Aikmen, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin inspired his love for the game of football.
Justin Hanson (18) is a sophomore at Mercer University, where he is pursuing a double major in finance and economics. He grew up in Minnesota cheering for the Vikings (don’t you dare mention Blair Walsh to him right now), Twins, Timberwolves and Wild; he mainly follows baseball and football.
His grandfather played in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ farm system, leading him to become a huge Los Angeles Dodgers fan, as well, with his favorite players being Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig. Justin loves deer hunting and has shot about two-dozen deer, including some pretty nice bucks, such as a 12-point trophy with his crossbow. Hanson is a member of Mercer’s Division 1 cross country and track and field teams and has been quoted as saying his favorite place to be is 10 or 11 miles into a nice, hard 14-mile run. When he isn’t running, he is likely watching sports or keeping up on the latest political and economic news. Hanson primarily covers politics.
Josiah Takang (17) is a freshman at Mercer University, majoring in biomedical engineering on the pre-med track. (The jury remains out on whether this was a good idea.) A self-professed trivia nerd and long-suffering Atlanta sports fan, his love of sports began at a very young age. Born in West Metro Atlanta’s Braves Country to a talented former soccer player from the West African nation of Cameroon, Josiah’s fathomless love of sports first extended to soccer and baseball (two sports he began playing at the tender age of four).
He grew up hearing his father watch World Cup matches, fuming at the seeming ineptitude of his home nation’s national team. Baseball came into his life growing up in Braves Country and became firmly embedded as he discovered and read the Baseball Encyclopedia, in the process starting his growth as a self-avowed “stats nerd” and boosting his trivia cred (the latter of which helped lead to the fulfillment of another lifelong dream, an appearance on Jeopardy!)
Jordan Price (21) is a staff writer for Youngspeak. Jordan became interested in sports at a very young age – some of his earliest memories were of watching the Atlanta Braves on television at nights. His father went to UGA, and his mother went to Auburn, so he considers himself a fan of both sides of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, though when forced to choose, he enthusiastically says “War Eagle!”. On the NFL level, Jordan is an avid fan of the New England Patriots and has been since he first started watching football. While the NFL is his favorite sports genre, he does enjoy the NBA and is a long-suffering Atlanta Hawks fan.
Jordan Jackson (18) is a staff writer for Youngspeak. A self-professed connoisseur of all things sports, Jordan’s love for the sports world began at a young age. He grew up with a love of baseball early on and began playing the sport at the tender age of four. In addition to tearing it up on the diamond, Jackson spent some time laying waste to his opponents on the gridiron. As he got older, his passion for sports only grew stronger. While in high school, he played baseball all four years and was a member of the varsity team three of those four years. He is a devout follower of all things MLB, and his favorite baseball team is the Atlanta Braves. Being from Georgia, Jackson has naturally adopted other hometown teams as his favorite (the Hawks and Falcons, specifically); however, his favorite college football team just so happens to be the Florida Gators. If involved in a clutch moment during a game or competition, you will in fact catch him “Tebowing” to the fullest extent.
Stephen Galloway (18) is a staff writer at Youngspeak and is currently a proud freshman at Mercer University who is majoring in economics and minoring in political science. From a very early age, Stephen has had a profound interest in sports, and it all started with Michael Vick’s run as the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. His love for sports blossomed when his beloved Auburn Tigers -- “WAR EAGLE” -- went undefeated in 2004 and were wrongfully held out of the BCS National Championship Game (thanks, Reggie Bush).
As he continued to get older, his love of sports and everything related to it continued. He started watching the incompetent knuckleheads over at ESPN every day after school argue over the most pointless and trivial sports topics of the day and had the bold idea of actually trying the sport of football and somewhat succeeding in it during his Pop Warner years. In middle school, his love for football became almost an obsession. Not only did this average-to-above-average athlete have Division I dreams, but he thought he was the coach for the Auburn Tigers.