Our November 2020 Spotlight Athlete of the Month is 17-year-old Taylor Joseph DuPont. Taylor is a senior at St. John High School in Plaquemine, LA. He not only excels in the classroom (finishing his junior year with a 4.57 GPA), he is also a triple-threat athlete, shining in basketball, football, and especially baseball. Taylor has been playing with the St. John Eagles baseball team for the past four years, earning varsity letters each year. As a freshman, Taylor worked hard to be the starting third baseman for the LHSAA state playoff game. This game was particularly special, as Taylor was able to play with his older brother, Stephen, who was senior at the time. Although they lost the game, it was still a moment that Taylor treasures. As a sophomore, Taylor continued to dominate the baseball field and earned 1st Team All-District as a third baseman. In his Junior year, Taylor started to show his versatility and started at short stop, as well as added depth to the St. John pitching lineup as a right-handed pitcher.
Outside of his rigorous, daily practice schedule, Taylor finds time to complete his schoolwork with top honors. He’s a member of the Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society. He is also taking honors, AP, and college-prep courses during his senior year. Throughout his high school career, Taylor has received numerous math awards, honor roll awards, principle list awards, and other high academic achievement awards. And just this month, Taylor was crowned the 2020 St. John Eagles Homecoming King! We, at Top Choice Athletics, are super impressed with the academic and athlete achievements of Taylor Joseph DuPont. We look forward to seeing how he will continue to excel in the future.
Taylor is a rare athlete with the natural ability to excel at any sport. And because he is a team player, he always chooses sports that allows him to work with his fellow peers. To Taylor, teams are synonymous to an extended family, and engaging in teamwork is an important factor in creating character and growth. Taylor started expanding his “team” family during his 8th grade year when he played for the St. John Eagles varsity basketball team. His skills on the court, and his ability to work with a team, earned him a varsity letter. Taylor continued his “teamwork” mentality the following four years, playing for the St. John Eagles football team and earning numerous awards including the “Captain’s Award” his junior year. This year, Taylor is not only captain of the football team, he is also the starting quarterback. With only 4 games played, Taylor has already thrown for 926 yards and 9 touchdowns. There is no doubt that Taylor is a uniquely gifted athlete. His natural abilities, combined with his compassion and understanding for the importance of teamwork, makes him an exceptional gem in today’s world of athletics.
When asked to name his favorite athlete, Taylor chose the Superbowl LIV MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Interesting fact, Patrick Mahomes is the son of the great MLB pitcher, Pat Mahomes. And Patrick played football and baseball until his sophomore year of college, when he finally decided to focus solely on football. Throughout his football career, Patrick Mahomes has racked up an extensive collection of records, awards, and accomplishments. He is a true embodiment of natural talent, hard-work, and leadership. In many ways, Taylor is a parallel model of a young, Patrick Mahomes. Taylor’s natural talent is undeniable. In addition to his many athletic accomplishments, during his sophomore year Taylor threw a 1-hitter against 3A U-High of Baton Rouge to win the game. In this junior year, he led in six offensive categories and had a batting average of .452. When it comes to hard-work, Taylor practices daily, year-round, giving 100% on and off the field. In terms of leadership, Taylor showed true character during his junior year when he led his St. John Eagles, as MVP, through an incredibly challenging and shortened baseball season. Taylor has one more year of high school baseball where he hopes to continue being a great leader for his team. Taylor plans to play college baseball next year, hopefully on a full scholarship. We, at Top Choice Athletics, are rooting for Taylor and can’t wait to see him on that college baseball team.
When asked to give words of wisdom to our younger generation of athletes, Taylor quoted the great Babe Ruth – “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” In essence, Taylor believes young athletes should “never give up, always work hard, every day.” And this is a motto that Taylor lives by in his own daily life. When Taylor started on his journey to be the best baseball player he could be, he knew it was going to take hours of hard work and consistent dedication. Taylor didn’t just practice and play for the St. John Eagles, he also practiced and played with the Louisiana Knights Travel Baseball Team. Travel baseball exposed Taylor to not only the grandeur of baseball, playing in various college baseball stadiums across the entire Gulf Coast, but it also gave him the opportunity to challenge his abilities and focus his mindset on his endless capabilities. He never let the fear of being on the big stage, in a massive stadium, or surrounded by older and more experienced players deter him from what he needed to do to better his own game. In fact, he surrounded himself with the best so that he could learn to be the best himself. We can all learn a lot from Taylor’s approach to sports…we can’t fear striking out. Many believe we are only born with two fears: falling and loud noises. Every other fear is a learned trait. We all need to channel our inner “Taylor” and not let any fear get in the way of us achieving our dreams.