Photo by GREG HARDWIG // Buy this photo
NAPLES — Growing up, Palmetto Ridge’s Skyler Taylor and his family moved around a lot because his dad was in the military. Similarly, Taylor’s sports interests have moved around during his life.
From soccer to football to basketball, Taylor’s dad, who was in the Air Force, helped him out. But when Taylor got to high school, his sports became swimming and lacrosse, not exactly in the mainstream.
“I just had friends who told me about them,” Taylor said. “They sounded fun. I went out, and I enjoyed them.”
Taylor’s father found a way to stay involved, too.
“When I was younger, he used to coach me when I played soccer or football or basketball,” said Taylor, who plans to attend Central Florida. “Even when I started playing lacrosse, he didn’t know about the sport at first, but he looked it up. He got me sticks. He practiced with me. He’s just been a great help.”
Taylor, who’s 10th in his class, placed in the top eight in four events in the Collier County Athletic Conference swimming meet. On top of his performance in the pool, Taylor also earned Swimming Academic All-American honors.
Lacrosse was a little different for Taylor and his teammates his senior season. The Bears had lost 11 seniors to graduation, and head coach Fred Plocinski couldn’t spend as much time with the team because was entered in the police academy.
“We had to adjust to new policies, and we lost a lot of our seniors last year,” Taylor said. “This year, the seniors we had, we had to really step up, and we had to teach the new team, and we had to pretty much guide them through the season.”
The Bears lost to Gulf Coast in the district title game to finish 6-6.
“Skyler has a great attitude, and always strives to be better,” Plocinski wrote in a recommendation letter. “Skyler listens when it’s time to listen, and always does his very best in anything you ask of him. He works hard every time he steps on the field and wants to excel to the next level, in lacrosse and in life.”
Off the field, Taylor is a founding member of the Biology Club, which took a trip to the Arthrex Inc., the Naples-based manufacturing company that makes orthopedic surgical supplies. Taylor also was involved in bringing in guest speakers and fundraisers. But Taylor’s future plans don’t include biology.
“I’m hoping to go into optometry, and probably open my own practice,” he said.
2012 WINGED FOOT ATHLETES
The winner will be revealed at the banquet Thursday, May 24 at Waldorf Astoria Naples.
- Photos: Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award finalists
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Revenel Metayer, Golden Gate
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Skyler Taylor, Palmetto Ridge
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Joseph Flores, Immokalee
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Alex Fogg, Community School
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Justine Giles, Lely
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Brian Ullrich, St. John Neumann
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Kendall Smallwood, Everglades City
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Adam Smith, First Baptist
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Brett Clark, Barron Collier
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Matt Colligan, Gulf Coast
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Dan DiGiorno, Naples
- 2012 Winged Foot profiles: Hana Sladick, Seacrest