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C.J. Taylor reflects on his senior year
CJ Taylor Grad.jpg
C.J. Taylor is pictured with his nephews on graduation night at Nunley Stadium on Friday.

Editor’s Note: C.J. Taylor graduated from WCHS on Friday. A two-sport star in football and basketball, he won the Mr. Football award for Class 6A and is regarded as one of the best athletes in school history. Here are his thoughts on his senior year:

The highs and lows of my senior year ... let’s see lows. 

I had a bad shoulder sprain week 2 through week 7 of football season. I had to learn how to limit myself and play without getting hit. We suffered our first lost to Riverdale week 9, and my teammates and I had to face the mirror and really look at ourselves and see what team we were and who we wanted to be. 

And lastly, the loss to Mt Juliet ... man it still bothers me to talk about it. I go to sleep almost every day thinking to myself and trying to figure out what I could’ve done to help us go to the second round. 

Highs ... we started off at 8-0 through the season. I had a great senior season that ultimately capped off with me winning Mr. Football. I could not have done that without my team. To break the losing streak was great for the community and for me personally. 

Me and coach Turner set a goal to break it my junior year, and we came up short. We were not gonna let that happen in the ‘21 class. Coach Bond and I set a goal to get me to the SEC, and we accomplished that as well!

My most memorable moment of my senior year should not surprise anyone ... me winning Mr. Football! As a team aspect, my most memorable moment in my senior year is when we beat East Hamilton in basketball coming back from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

In football, it had to be when we toed the line with Oakland, the best team in the state, and went to battle against them, and gave them everything they could handle. Yeah we lost, but they did NOT want to see us again. 

Coach Turner is the first who comes to mind when I’m talking about anyone who sticks out to me! Followed by Turner would have to be coach Bond. He helped me accomplish a dream that I have been wishing and praying for since I was a little guy.

Teammates that stick out to me …. Douglas Wells is probably the one that I had to grow with and accept his downfalls and his upside, and he’d tell you the same … he had to accept my downfalls and my upside. So for our team to work, me and “Dirty Doug” had to connect on all cylinders. 

The rest of the following: Kason Holder, Bryson Elrod, Clay Thompson, Ryland Holder, Kaden Jordan, Aiden Cummings, and Braylon Grayson. There are more, but at the moment those are the guys that stood out to me the most!

Coach Wood helped me learn how to get yelled at and keep moving forward.

Riverdale and the Cleveland game had to have had the biggest impact on my high school career. It taught me how to take a butt whooping and move forward, and push to never let that happen again. I think it will make me better for my career at Vanderbilt.

I would not change anything in my senior year. I thank God for giving me a healthy season in both sports!

With all that being said, I want to say I’m grateful for God and the opportunities that He has given me to this day and giving me the ability to do what I love. I want to thank my mom for giving birth to a kid that was hard-headed and still is hard-headed till this day. I just want to say in a couple years it will pay off. Mark my words! 

To all the coaches who helped me and my teammates accomplish what no one else could, thank you! To my siblings who have toughened me up and helped me grow as an athlete, thank you! To my dad, thank you for putting a football and a basketball in my hand and helping me learn the game. Thank you pops! Last but not least, my big brother who was like a father figure when some things came up. Every time I question myself with sports or in life period, I know that I’m making you proud by continuing to do what I love and what you love. 

I love everyone who was mentioned in this, and I just wanted to say thank you, again. - Mr. Football out