Sophomore Edward Taylor’s journey as an underclassman on the varsity SHS football team

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Edward Taylor running with the football. Picture Credits- Edward Taylor

Angeli Thompson, Editor in Chief

Football has always been a big part of Solon High School (SHS), as well as any other school. It’s fun to go to the games with your friends and cheer for your team. Not only is it fun for the people watching, but it’s also fun for the people playing. Edward Taylor is a sophomore playing for varsity, as a running back and linebacker, and he explains how the game keeps him on his toes and focused, not only on the field but in school also.  

Football is a hard sport to play, it comes with dedication and responsibility, so it takes the toughest people to play. 

According to Taylor, there are a few struggles he had to deal with while playing for varsity.

“One struggle I will point out is the strength difference between me and, maybe say, a junior or senior on the opposing team, or even in practice,” Taylor said. “Outside of football if you do something bad socially or in school, it can not only affect you individually, but it can also affect your team. So there’s a lot of responsibility [playing] a huge team sport such as football.”  

If a player decides to do something knowing they weren’t supposed to, they have to be mindful that if they get in trouble, their team will also get in trouble. There are consequences if a player isn’t in line. 

“I try not to [compare myself to others], all I know is that I have to play my game and I have to do what I can to help the team,” Taylor said. “Whatever skills and talents I can bring to the table I’ll always use them for the benefit of my team, and I will give it one-hundred-percent.” 

Taylor’s positive attitude is an important thing he brings to the team. He always tries his best and doesn’t let others get in his way of being there for his team. He does a great job of keeping himself where he needs to be and focusing on his responsibilities.

 Athletic director and head football coach, James McQuaide, talks about what kind of player Taylor is and how much he’s done for the team.

“He’s very athletic, he’s a skilled player [and] he’s a tough guy, he works hard in the weight room,” McQuaide said. “It’s not easy for young guys to play varsity. We’re a division one team, and to start varsity as a sophomore is an accomplishment, and he should be very proud.” 

Taylor has said that he enjoys playing for varsity, and he was excited to begin his first year playing. McQuaide has also talked about some important things for Taylor to do to help him progress to play football after he leaves Solon. 

“You could be the best football player there ever was, but if your grades are unacceptable on the transcript [the colleges] can’t talk to you,” McQuaide said. “So that’s number one. [Edward] is a good student, he works really hard in school. Number two [since Edward] has played varsity football it shouldn’t be a surprise to him when he’s older [for colleges to be looking at him], junior-senior year. And number three, he’s gotta get bigger and stronger. That’s why [SHS] has a great strength and conditioning coach, a great weight facility, and the great off-season things we do [to prepare the team].” 

McQuaide sees a lot for Taylor in the future and has a lot of key things to help him get that far and to be seen by colleges since he’s a tough player.   

According to Offensive End/Defensive Tackle William Johnson, the team loves having him around. 

“He’s a good player and a fun dude,” Johnson said. “He [makes] good plays, [and] when he [makes] a good tackle [the whole team] is cheering his name. We all say, ‘let’s go EJ.’ He’s just a good person to be around and he always has good energy.”  

Taylor has said he loves being around his team and he loves the atmosphere. It’s good to know his teammates feel the same. He has also said that he thinks football is one of the hardest team sports out there.

“Football is one of the hardest team games hands down. You’re all working toward a common goal, if someone doesn’t do something right, a whole play can fail. You have to work together as a team to make it all work out.” 

 

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