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Sarasota Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 5 years ago

Athlete of the Week: John Taylor

by: Nick Friedman Managing Editor of Arts and Culture

Riverview forward John Taylor has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old. The high school senior describes himself as having a good knowledge of the game. Taylor talked to the Sarasota Observer about his soccer career and post-graduation plans.

How did you start playing?
I lived in France when I was younger, and I started playing over there. I was born in France, but my dad was born in Sarasota, and we moved back when I was 6 years old. We still go back to visit family.

What do you remember about your first high school game?
We played against Sarasota High School. It was a big game, and I think we ended up winning.

What about soccer made you want to stick with it?
I really liked how much fun it was. I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. It’s a team sport, which I like. I’ve just always played.

What is your favorite soccer memory?
Playing in a tournament in France when I was 13 years old. There were a lot of fans. I played for a club team, and the coach was also from France, so he set up the trip. I think we ended up coming in fourth place in the whole tournament.

How do you think you have grown most as a player?
I think I’ve improved my knowledge of the game. It’s about making the right decisions. I’m a mental player.

Do you think that is your strong suit as a player?
Yeah, I think my strongest point is my decision making. Knowing when to pass, when to dribble and when to shoot is really important.

Where do you think you need improvement?
Probably, in the physical aspect of the game. I’d like to be more athletic — faster and stronger. We do conditioning and weight training to work on that.

What piece of soccer-related advice has always stuck with you?
Follow up on your shots. That’s how I get the majority of my goal.

What does it take to be a good soccer player?
It depends. Your touch on the ball is a huge aspect. You also need to know when to play the ball and how.

What is your favorite part about your position?
The majority of chances to score come to me, and that’s a real privilege to have.

Do you have any college plans?
I hope to play in college. I don’t have any solid plans yet; I’m still waiting on offers. My dream college would be Georgia Southern. They have a great program, and it’s a good school.

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