King’s Fork senior small forward Byron Taylor challenges the Deep Creek defense during the Bulldogs’ 64-47 home win on Jan. 11. His performance helped extend the Bulldogs’ win streak to 10 games.

KFHS’ Taylor makes broad contributions

Published 8:19pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

King’s Fork High School senior small forward Byron Taylor does a lot of different things for the Bulldogs, and the numbers showed it against Lakeland and Deep Creek last week, leading to his nomination and 634 votes to win the title of Player of the Week.

In a low-scoring fi-ght with Lakeland, he had nine points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Later, against Deep Creek, he took things up a notch, leading the team with 22 points and 17 rebounds. He also had four assists, five steals and three blocks.

Taylor

“He just brings a lot to the table,” Bulldogs head coach Josh Worrell said. “He can rebound, he can handle the basketball, he can pass, he can score, he can defend the (positions) one-through-five, so he’s a great asset to have on the team because of being that multi-dimensional.”

After fellow senior Rod Parrett led the Bulldogs in scoring against Lakeland, Worrell gave an open call for someone new to stand out against Deep Creek so opposing teams would realize they have to worry about more than just Parrett.

“I guess that speech really motivated me, so I just stepped up,” Taylor said. “I guess that night was my night.”

Taylor moved up to the varsity team at King’s Fork when he was in 10th grade. Particularly this year, he has been known for the energy he brings to the court for the Bulldogs, whether as a starter or a spark plug off the bench.

“Some parts of the season he was starting, then he went to coming off the bench, now he’s going back to starting, so he’s not worried about that,” Worrell said. “But he does bring some energy.”

Taylor started out playing football in the Pop Warner league when he was 6. Then, he picked up basketball when he reached sixth grade.

“In middle school I just started loving it,” he said.

He began playing for King’s Fork Middle School, as well as an Amateur Athletic Union team that achieved success beyond the state level.

“We went all the way to nationals, became 10th in the nation,” Taylor said.

His love for hoops outgrew his love for football, which he played for the last time in ninth grade. Taylor said no particular person can be credited with turning his attention toward basketball.

“It was really like a self-motivated thing, and then seeing my mom smile in the stands when I played kept motivating me to play,” he said.

Taylor plays

with a group of fellow seniors he has grown up with, including Parrett, Jacorey Smith and Donte’ Ralph. They are driven to bring home a district, regional, and/or state championship for King’s Fork before their time as Bulldogs is through.

“I’ve played with them since like 12 years old, so we have a great bond with each other,” Taylor said. “We all have the same dream of getting that banner on the wall.”

Taylor credited Coach Worrell with pushing him to greater success both on the court and in the classroom.

Taylor’s goal is to get a college scholarship.

He also gave enormous credit to his mother for helping him succeed in life and motivating him to do well on the court.

“She does a lot for me, like break her back to get what I need, so everything I do is always going to be for my mom,” he said.

Nominations

Following are this week’s Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week nominees:

  • Ed Drew, senior forward for Nansemond River basketball — He had a great week, helping lead the Warriors to three wins and recording double-doubles in each contest, having achieved that level in 16 of 17 games this season. Against Lakeland, he led the team with 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks to go with three steals and two assists.
  • Logan Eubanks, freshman for Nansemond River swimming — He broke the school record in the 100-meter butterfly, which he has done multiple times this year, coming in first in the event against Indian River with a time of 1:08.16.
  • Corey Hubbard, senior 170-pounder for Lakeland wrestling — He was one of the few bright spots for the Cavaliers during their meet against Nansemond River, continuing his dominant run in the district among 170-pound wrestlers with a 7-4 win by decision.
  • Emily Neuberg, junior for Nansemond-Suffolk swimming — She swam the 200-yard freestyle event for the first time this season on Friday and crushed the state qualifying time by more than eight seconds, swimming it in 2:07.50.

Vote by 7 p.m. Wednesday by sending an email with the subject “Player of the Week” to sports@suffolknewsherald.com. You can also vote on our Facebook page and on the Suffolk News-Herald homepage.

Next Sunday, we’ll feature the readers’ choice in a story on the sports page.

Spread the word.

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