Caleb Joshua Heffron
In sports, there are two achievements that are the most difficult. The first is winning a national championship. It takes a combination of consistency, fortitude and skill to prove your team the victor against all others over the course of a season. For Taylor, it took 39 years of women’s cross-country and 10 straight years of Crossroads League crowns, but on November 18, 2022, they finally succeeded.
It’s everywhere. In every sport. On every channel. Every time a game goes to a commercial, it’s there. I can’t escape it. I’m not talking about the abundance of Toyota advertisements or the insistence of Kay Jewelers that it’s not just ring season in the NFL. I’m referencing the influx of sportsbooks that have permeated the sports world.
What do Australia and New Zealand, Miami and Upland, Indiana have in common? Simply put, all three locations are 2023’s hotbed locations for soccer. Spain outlasted England to take home their first Women’s World Cup on Aug. 20 in Sydney, Australia and Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi is continuing his near-perfect career with a Leagues Cup victory, scoring goals at will for Inter Miami CF. But for Taylor University, the highlight of the soccer world is the return of Trojan soccer kicking back into high gear this August.
The Taylor softball team has been fighting for a chance at reaching the NAIA National Championship for a second consecutive season, but in a conference with three ranked teams, wins don’t come easy for the Trojans. However, Taylor’s roster is a mixture of experienced veterans complimented by rising freshmen who are all prepared to finish the season strong and close the year with a Nationals run.
Every year, sports enthusiasts hear podcasters, announcers and analysts heap praise upon players, using phrases like, ‘he’s got that it factor,’ ‘there’s something special about him’ or the all-new common colloquialism, ‘he’s just built different.’
De’Ariss Hope and Darien Taylor’s vision is not exclusive to the football field. Their abilities expand to the creative landscape. The two major in Film and Media Production creating award-winning films and carving out their path in the entertainment world.
"Phenomenal young men.” That is how Defensive Coordinator Jared Boddie describes seniors De’Ariss Hope and Darien (also known as DT) Taylor. Many students know them as prominent players on the Trojans football team, and every Saturday, they could watch Hope wreaking havoc on the defensive line and Taylor returning kicks and sprinting out of the backfield.
Taylor cross country finished the regular season strong at the Crossroads League (CL) Tournament this past weekend. Both the men’s and women’s teams will head to the NAIA National Championships in Tallahassee, Florida on Nov. 18th.
Taylor volleyball is reaching heights they have not achieved in years. The Trojans sit atop the Crossroads League standings with a 14-2 conference record. They are finishing the year undefeated at home (13-0). They are ranked No. 11 in the nation, a feat not accomplished in over a decade.