This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
John Taylor's career didn't peak with his first Class 5A state championship. Nor with the second.
Instead, the height of a remarkable career, the Davis senior said, came when he was 12.
"Those were my glory days," Taylor said. "I'd score bicycle kicks and headers. I'd always tell people if I died and went to heaven, I'd want to play soccer 24/7."
Now, he's ready to move on from soccer. So it's a fitting end to that career that Taylor goes out as the Class 5A MVP, a dynamic attacking midfielder who won state championships as both a sophomore and a senior.
To think, it almost didn't happen. As a freshman, Taylor nearly quit soccer to help his mother, Caroline, who was sick and couldn't live at home.
But Caroline, who Taylor said thinks her son is even better at soccer than he is (think Cristiano Ronaldo), wouldn't let him quit. She pushed him.
"I wouldn't have won two state championships without her," Taylor said, "I'll tell you that right now."
So when the Darts beat favored Brighton on May 24, Caroline was there, crying right along with her weepy son.
"I think she was the only person that wanted to win it more than I did," he said.
It was something that Taylor, the team's captain, told the yearbook that became the quote that rallied the team. "In any sport," he said, "great teams lose because they overlook weaker opponents. They think about winning state without realizing how hard it is to get there. So by going game by game, you emphasize all the little steps you have to take to get there. If you take your next game like it's your most important game, you will succeed."
Instead of soccer, Taylor wants to focus his future on studying business.
"I think I'd be good with people," he said, "and leading a team."
In fact, he's already proven it.