Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Catching Up From Quarantine:

Catching Up From Quarantine:

Desta Bailey

Desta Bailey may have had a season off from playing rugby league but the Axemen forward has had a very busy year. From marriage proposals to Master’s degrees, wedding planning and working on fitness goals, Bailey has accomplished quite a bit throughout the pandemic. Now that the 2021 season is just around the corner, he will return to the Axemen as a newlywed, and is ready to get back to thrill of playing rugby league.

  1. How did you spend most of your time last summer without playing rugby league?

“I was very blessed in that I was able to work as normal during the pandemic so that kept me pretty busy. However, I decided that I would go back to school and have been in the process of getting a Masters in Cyber Security at Maryville University. I’ve always been helping a bit with wedding planning as I’ll be getting married in a couple of months. Luckily, I have a great fiance who has been able to handle the bulk of that so I just have to occasionally give an opinion or two (I’m sure she prefers it that way).”

2. What has helped you stay sane (or drove you nuts) during the pandemic? 

“We have a very tight knit group of guys down here so a lot of us managed to stay in touch during it all. It was difficult not seeing everyone as much as usual but we made the most of it when we could. My head has also been in the books which has been a great distraction for me. I’ve found recently though that the gym has been a great escape. Matt at Hyperswole has done a great job of maintaining a safe and clean facility so we can get some work in during the offseason.”

Photo: Scott Burchard

3. How have you been training throughout lock-downs and social distancing? 

“Rutcho has been great about providing workout plans for us to make sure we stay busy and Hyperswole has given us a place where we can put some work in. Honestly, with everything being the way it is, training was one of the few reasons I would get out of the house. I’ve been trying to use this time to really prioritize my fitness and general healthy habits to make sure I’m ready for the coming season.”

4. Any positive life changes in the past year?

“Well, by the time the season gets kicked off I’ll be a married man and I’ll hopefully be done with my Masters Program in December. Other than that, the last year was very quiet, though those who know me know that I’m very ok with that. ”

5. What do you look forward to most about the upcoming season? 

“Seeing all of the guys who are out of state coming back would be great. We have some core members of the team who are in Georgia or living in a bus somewhere so having those guys come back to Jax would be great. I’m also just pumped to get a game in. It’s wild how much you can miss a good game day and all that comes with it. I’m sure others feel that way as well so I’m sure the energy will be very high this coming season.”