Mountain Football Player Remembered
Students and teammates at a mountain high school are saddened at the loss of a fellow student and promising football player. Fifteen year-old Chris Taylor died in a single-car accident Monday.
Chris Taylor had just been moved up to the varsity team, that's rare for a sophomore. His friends remember him as a good sport with a big heart.
Standing tall in the number 55 uniform, Chris Taylor, a 15 year-old ready for varsity sports but equally large in life to his friends Ethan Lunsford and Donnie Hayes. They came to the crash site, where the Enka Jets' symbol and a football rest in a memorial.
"I've known him since I was six, so we always talked about having the first game together and all that, and it's high school, and it just don't seem real that it all happened," says Lunsford.
"He grew real well into football, he was really talented, always wanted to work harder, always working hard in the weight room. He was just a fun guy to be around, doesn't matter how bad of a day you were having, he would always make you smile," says Hayes.
Tuesday morning, before the soccer players took the field, coaches and staff played a light-hearted round of tag football with some of Chris Taylor's teammates. "Over the last year, I've gotten to know Chris a lot, outstanding young man," says Enka Jets Head Coach Jeff Frady. Frady says he moved Chris as a freshman to the varsity team for his willingness to train hard, beyond his years. "Has really come into working harder the last spring, played well for our young kids this year, and has really been working hard in the weight room this year, and one of the more athletic linemen that I've ever coached," he says.
Coach Frady and school counselors are helping players and students cope with this loss, a loss felt beyond the field and locker rooms. "We live in a great community, and it's a tight-knit community in Enka, and I'm sure the community's going to do a lot to rally around us and the family," says Frady.
The family is still making arrangements for services.
By: Sherrill Barber