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Athlete of the Week: Taylor Young

(Editor's note: Throughout the local high school sports season, Culpeper Times will again recognize an “Athlete of the Week” from one of the sports on a rotating basis. This week we feature girls swimming. At the end of the year the Times will select a male and female athlete at both Culpeper County and Eastern View high schools and recognize them as “Athlete of the Year” at their respective schools.)

Taylor Young is well-known for her success on the volleyball court. The Culpeper County High School senior was named to the All-Battlefield District team for the third year following the recently completed season.

She chalked up 161 kills ―tops on the team ―and 47 aces in gaining her second straight second team selection.

Young also excels in the swimming pool and this season was named captain of the Devilette girls team. Young is the Culpeper Times choice for “Athlete of the Week.”

“She has been swimming for me for four years,” said coach Dave Hodgson. “She is an outstanding competitor and a natural leader. Kids look up to her and respect her.”
Being named captain of the team is so important to Young that she gave up travel volleyball so she could spend more time with the team.

“I love this team and the coaches,” Young said. “These are probably the best coaches I have ever had and I have been swimming for about 10 years.”

Her reaction to being named captain?

“Finally, I've been waiting four years,” she said, laughing. “I was so excited when coach told me. Giving up travel volleyball was terrible, but I knew coach expected the best out of me. It was a hard weekend at my house (thinking about quitting the travel team) but I know I made the right decision.”

Hodgson said Young is not only a leader, but also quick with a joke.

“She is friendly and she has worked hard to acclimate the new kids to the team and make them feel welcome,” he said. “We pride ourselves on being a family and she is the big sister. She is a great ambassador for the sport.”

Young, a lifeguard during the summer, said the “need for endurance” is one thing that volleyball and swimming have in common.

“In volleyball, even though we're on a court, you have to be able to keep going when you are tired,” Young said. “And swimming is like that, too, you just keep going.”
Young said she has been swimming her best event, the 50 freestyle, in the “low 29” seconds.

“My biggest challenge is not being too disappointed when I get out of the pool and my time is not what I wanted it to be,” she said.

Young said she plans to go to a four-year college and major in athletic training. She enjoys her English class this year.

Neither college volleyball nor swimming at the interscholastic level is on Young's radar at the moment.

“I'll probably play club volleyball, but I don't even know about that,” she said. “I want to focus on being in college and not get too wrapped up in sports.”

NOTE: First-year Eastern View High School coach Melissa Garcia nominated sophomore Kendyl Coley.

“She is hard working, dedicated and a reliable teammate,” Garcia said. “She's always there to help the team and is also an exemplary student.”

Coley may get some of her discipline from JROTC, in which she has participated at EVHS this year and last. She's a cadet corporal.

“I think the running, the ab work and the discipline helps me in swimming,” Coley said.

Coley has been swimming since she was 5 years old. Garcia said she has good technique in all of her strokes, but she excels in butterfly.

“I like swimming because it's competitive,” Coley said. “The challenge for me is not getting too upset about losing.”

She said with all of the swimming she does, schoolwork and JROTC she doesn't have much time for other activities. She said chemistry is her favorite subject.

Coley said she is not sure as to her plans after high school but JROTC may be pointing her toward the armed forces.

“I might join the military,” she said.

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