Sports Spotlight : J.H. Rose quarterback Taylor leading the way on and off the field
After trip to state final Will Taylor hopes to lead Rampants all the way
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - High school football kicks off this week. Before it does, we feature a quarterback who took his team all the way to the state final last fall. J.H. Rose senior Will Taylor has grown into a leader on and off the gridiron. He’s this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.
“Ever since I could walk, I could hold a football, play football, flag football back when I was three years old,” says J.H. Rose senior Will Taylor, “I played quarterback all my life. It’s just second nature to me.”
J.H. Rose senior Will Taylor quarterbacked the Rampants to the state game his junior year.
“To see the locker room, the stands, that type of D1 football organization, that team, that stadium,” says Taylor, “I will never forget that moment.”
He nearly set the school record for passing yards in a season in the process.
“100 yards off last year,” says Taylor, “Trying to break that record.”
The lessons from last fall not only learned from loss..
“That lost in the state championship game,” says Taylor, “it hurt us.”
...but from leaders...
“It’s more of a responsibility this time around,” Taylor says, “Last year we had Michael Allen, he was one of the most leaders.”
...Taylor now has the torch.
“He’s a great athlete, great student of the game, and he’s an even better person,” says J.H. Rose head coach Will Bland, ”He’s more vocal guy now. He demands a lot of his respect from the guys. That they do their job, especially the receiving core, he gets on them if they drop balls, but he also praises guys when they do stuff well. Just that aspect that they know they got a guy that is willing to fight for them.”
But leadership is nothing new for Will.
“I gotta lead the team,” says Taylor, “I got to be more talkative. I got to step up and play the role.”
He’s demonstrated difference making ability off the field for years in the Jack and Jill program.
“We send packages to military, you know Christmas cards, Thanksgiving, birthday, anything like that,” says Taylor, “Give back to the community. As we got book bags that we are trying to do right now. We are trying to give them to different schools. Just help them with resources that they might not afford.”
It’s made a young man wise beyond his years.
“There’s always going to be somebody to help you. You are not always alone, there’s always somebody that can give a helping hand. If you need help ask for help,” says Taylor.
And a wise quarterback, is a dangerous one.
“You gotta set your goals high,” says Bland, “Cause you don’t wanna set them low where you can reach them.”
“State championship,” says Taylor, “Bring the ring back to Greenville. We ain’t get one since 2005. It’s about time to get a ring back in Greenville.”
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