10

Hunter Taylor, 22, drives into the lane against a Classical defender at West high school in the TAPPS 3A state championship

Hunter Taylor admitted that his college schedule is going to seem a little weird.

The recent Our Lady of the Hills’ alum will attend Mary Hardin-Baylor in August, and for the first time in several years, he won’t be playing every single sport throughout the school year.

Taylor lettered in every sport invented by mankind at OLH, and that’s really not much of an exaggeration, either. During his senior year, he played football, basketball, soccer, baseball, track and field and golf, all while maintaining an A-plus average throughout the year.

So, for the first time in several years, Taylor might have a thing called free time next year.

“I plan to play as many intramurals as I can,” said Taylor, who hopes to walk on the Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team next year. “I’m just going to try to find something to fill my time.”

His hard work at OLH paid off, leading to several individual accolades. Last Thursday, OLH athletic director Chris Ramirez texted Taylor, notifying him that he was named the TAPPS Class 3A player of the year.

“It’s definitely a most deserving award for him,” said Ramirez, who was also named the TAPPS 3A Coach of the Year. “To be an athlete who can play in six sports in one school year, I think that’s amazing. And he didn’t just play each sport, but he played every one of them at a high level, he competed at a high level; he earned pretty much the highest accolades in each individual sport on top of juggling his academic requirements as well.

“Hunter is the type of kid who is going to be very difficult to replace.”

Indeed. Taylor left an indelible impact on each sport. He was a first-team, all-state spread-back in football, propelling the Hawks to their first playoff berth in three seasons. He earned second-team, all-state honors in basketball, helping the Hawks win their second state championship in three seasons. He served as the goal-keeper for the OLH boys’ soccer team that advanced to the playoffs. And in the spring, he lifted the Hawks to a district track title.

More importantly, Taylor was a leader who inspired his teammates. During football season, Taylor finished first in every team sprint, challenging his teammates to continue pushing themselves. When the Hawks struggled to find their identity early in the basketball season, stumbling in several games, Taylor never panicked. Instead, he continued to do everything that Ramirez asked of him. His calm demeanor helped the Hawks emerge out of their slump, just in time for another championship run.

“His teammates respect him tremendously,” Ramirez said. “They all want to rally around him and play to his expectations. I am very proud of him."

Needless to say, Ramirez admits he was emotional watching Taylor walk across the stage to receive his OLH diploma. For the first time in several years, he will no longer have Taylor on his football and basketball teams. When he attends soccer and basketball games, he won’t see Taylor on the field. He admits it’s going to be a difficult transition.

“Hunter is one of the best overall kids I have been in contact with,” Ramirez said. “I’m happy for him; I’m excited to see what the future has in store for him. There are going to be some big shoes to fill. That’s for sure.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.