Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 29
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
The first thing football player Clay Taylor likes to do after playing a good football game is to go home, call his brothers, and brag.
“We’re all very competitive,” he said.
Valley Christian Academy’s Sept. 21 game against Coalinga Faith Christian gave Taylor a lot of bragging rights. The running back scored the first four touchdowns—all in the first half. He finished the game as the lead rusher with 156 yards and eight carries. This is his third year of varsity play. Valley Christian walked away with a 77-13 victory.
The senior and team captain said he leads by example for the rest of the team by remaining disciplined and dedicated. Taylor has some serious goals for the season, which he said will be his last.
“I want to score more touchdowns than my brother did—and be Athlete of the Week at least once,” Taylor said with a laugh.
Taylor’s brother, Dustin, graduated from Valley Christian in 2012. He was also a running back. Malik, the third Taylor brother, was a receiver for the Lions.
So far, Taylor is off to a good start, but Saturday’s game helped him figure out what he wants to work on for the season.
“This is my first year as a fullback so there are new responsibilities,” he said. “I want to work on not being nervous at the start of the game and coming out hard.”
The senior also added that the game against Coalinga taught him the importance of making good cuts while running the ball. Taylor said Valley Christian’s toughest competition will come from Cuyama, a passionate and well-coached team.
Even though Taylor will be done with football after high school, he will always love the sport.
“I love getting the ball because you know everyone is watching you—it’s exciting,” Taylor said. “I also believe you can bring glory and honor to God by playing football.”
Peter Fortier, Valley Christian’s football coach and athletic director, couldn’t list enough positive adjectives to describe his talented athlete.
“Taylor is coachable and he is a hard worker,” Fortier said. “He is determined and focused; he really thinks about the game.”
Fortier added that Taylor is a crucial part of the team’s offense and defense. There is no question whether he will contribute to the team this year.
Taylor, who is still deciding on a major, plans to attend Pentecola Christian University in Florida with his brothers. Because he enjoys exercise, Taylor said he will continue to work out and stay in shape. An irreplaceable character on the Valley Christian team, Taylor said he will never forget the lessons he has learned while playing in high school.
“If you want something done or changed, you have to put in the effort,” Taylor said. “When you do that, you can get where you want.”