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Roland’s Hunter Taylor – Sallisaw Area Athlete spotlight – presented by agent & Mallory-martin funeral home

Junior standout Hunter Taylor of Roland put on quite a balancing act this spring and came away with an awesome prize. Hunter takes part in two spring sports-baseball and track- which proved to be a physical challenge at times. In baseball he plays in the outfield and pitches and in track his event is the long jump.

“Balancing track and baseball was tough, but whenever we would have both a baseball game and track meet on the same day, I found a way to get to both of them including late in the season when baseball and the track regionals happened on the same day.”

The down side of that balancing act is that it didn’t leave Taylor with much time for practice especially track.

“He had to split time between the two so in track all he really made were the meets themselves,” said track coach Austin Cantrell. “Even the week of the state track meet, the baseball team was in the playoffs and he played a couple of games the day before track.”

So after a busy day of baseball at Adair and a night at a motel, it was on to the state track meet at Catoosa for the very first time for Hunter.

“It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. We watched the girls long jump and then it was my turn. My first jump wasn’t the best which kind of upset me. But the second jump was 21 feet, three and a quarter inches and that was what nailed it.”

Which brings us to the awesome prize-the gold medal in the Class 3A long jump.

Hunter credits another sport-football where he plays wide receiver and defensive back-for helping him in track.

“I think all the running I do in football and baseball really helped me with my long jump ability,” said the gold medal winner.

Cantrell looks forward to getting Taylor back for another year.

“He’s the kind of kid every coach would like to have. He’s great in the class room, all the teachers love him, he’s very respectful and never has a problem with grades in addition to being an exceptional athlete.”

There’s probably a little extra reason why Hunter doesn’t have a problem with grades,

“My mom is a teacher and so she really makes sure I stay on top of that,” laughed Hunter who says his track goal for next year is to break the Class 3A state long jump record and see if he can land a college football or baseball scholarship.

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