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La Jolla Athlete of the Week: Bishop’s running back Tayshawn Taylor is making his mark

Bishop's sophomore running back Tayshawn Taylor is "really talented to be so young," according to head coach Shane Walton.
The Bishop’s School sophomore running back Tayshawn Taylor is “really talented to be so young,” according to head coach Shane Walton.
(Courtesy of Tayshawn Taylor)

In less than two years, The Bishop’s School sophomore Tayshawn Taylor has made his mark on the Knights football team. The running back has been on varsity this season and last, delivering a performance his coaches describe as “explosive.”

“He’s really talented to be so young,” said head coach Shane Walton. “Last year, we only had three games [because of the COVID-19 pandemic] and he was our most explosive varsity player as a freshman. This season, we want to get all we can get out of him. He’s not overly fast or elusive, but he’s really good at not being tackled. We all talk about it. He’s a really good football player and understands patterns and places where other players can’t get to.”

While he may be young, Tayshawn’s love of football started when he was even younger.

“When I was little, I would watch football with my grandpa and our favorite team was the [Tennessee] Titans, and I really liked the running back and just wanted to play football,” he said.

In fourth grade, he did. “I started playing youth football, but I wasn’t a running back yet,” he said.

Now that Tayshawn is a running back, the grandfather with whom Tayshawn watched football as a child now watches his games with Bishop’s.

“My grandpa loves that I play football,” Tayshawn said. “He doesn’t live in San Diego, but he watches all the games. He would watch the livestreams, now he comes down to see them. It feels good to have that family support. I appreciate them.”

That support extends to “the brotherhood of the team,” Tayshawn said. “It’s cool to see how close we all are. I do my best for them because I know they do their best for me. They have my back and I have theirs. I don’t want to let them down.”

The Knights are 4-1, having only lost their opener against rival La Jolla High. “We weren’t our best that week,” Tayshawn said. “But the loss motivated us to get better. ... We put in the work and changed our attitude. ... We started locking in and got better and better.”

While he acknowledges he has some growing up to do on the field, Tayshawn said his teammates encourage him to improve.

“I still need to get better, but we hold each other accountable for what we do,” he said. “If someone drops a pass, we redo the play. If a freshman goofs off, we tell them to focus. We show them the outcome and what can happen when they focus.”

The coaches also motivate the team, he said. “They tell me if I didn’t go 100 percent … they push me to do better.”

“He’s such a good kid; I love having him around,” Walton said. “He’s so coachable and teachable. He’s so likeable. ... I try to teach him when to be funny and when to be serious, so he’s learning that balance now. He’s going to be special.”

La Jolla Athlete of the Week features athletes from all sports in high school (La Jolla High, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School) and other local youth sports. We’re looking not only for the stars of competition but also for student-athletes who set an example for teamwork, academic achievement and/or community involvement. Please email your nominations, and a way to reach your nominees, to Editor Rob Vardon at robert.vardon@lajollalight.com.