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East County Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 4 years ago

Athlete of the Week: Taylor Pawelkoski

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

Twelve-year-old middle linebacker Taylor Pawelkoski recently was selected to represent Team Florida in the 2013 Future Stars Game June 15, at Bolles School in Jacksonville.

The Haile Middle School sixth-grader was one of more than 200 players to try out for the 47-man Florida sixth-grade roster, and he was the lone player chosen from the area to participate.

Taylor, who plays for the Manatee Mustangs, and his teammates will travel to the University of Jacksonville June 12, before competing against Team Georgia in the annual middle school All-Star game.

"I was really excited and pumped up when I found out I had been chosen. I know this is a big opportunity for me to shine. I’m just looking forward to going out there and representing Bradenton and Florida.

As a middle linebacker, I love making big hits. I like making contact with another person. I get pumped up after a big hit, and I want to do it again.

My favorite part of football is before the game when all of my players are huddled up together.

I also play running back. I like running the ball down the field and scoring touchdowns. I want to get better, though. I need to work on getting faster.

Football and baseball have always been my two favorite sports.
Having to choose between the two is probably one of the toughest decisions I would have to make.

This season, I want to get more aggressive on the field and score more touchdowns. I scored 21 rushing touchdowns last year.

I want to be in the NFL one day. I just have to continue to work hard and push myself every time I try something new.

My favorite football moment so far has been going to Miami for a playoff game the past two seasons. It’s like a championship for us, because they are our biggest rival."

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