Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

White Setting Eagles Up for State Success ; White: Eagle Senior Reaching Full Potential

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

White Setting Eagles Up for State Success ; White: Eagle Senior Reaching Full Potential

Article excerpt

SILVER LAKE -- It was a moment Taylor White distinctly remembers.

Two practices into her freshman season in 2012, Silver Lake coach Sarah Johnson called White over and gave her an earful.

"She yelled at me for not transitioning fast enough," White clearly recalled. "I started tearing up. I wasn't expecting that."

Nor was she expecting what followed soon after. Before Silver Lake's first match of the season, Johnson tabbed White as the team's starter.

It was a leap of faith on Johnson's part, putting her team in the hands of a freshman. But it's a decision she never hesitated to make and one she hasn't regretted one bit as White has become the rock for the Eagles' recent run of success, including back-to-back state titles.

"She had the potential to handle it and obviously she has," said Johnson, who taught White in fifth-grade science and got a good indication about her make-up then. "She's just wise beyond her years. And she's tough, smart, just a super-intelligent young lady. I knew she had the capability. There were a lot more teaching moments in her younger years, but I had full confidence in her then and definitely do now."

White admits the initial news of being named a starter as a freshman was shocking.

"When she told me, I was a little nervous," White said. "I didn't really know what she wanted me to do. But she put everything in my control and we just communicate about what needs to be done and what's best for my team."

White dished out 981 assists as a freshman, helping quarterback the Eagles to a third-place finish in Class 3A. As a sophomore, she led the state in assists with 1,123 and Silver Lake captured the 3A state title.

The Eagles went back-to-back last year with White racking up 999 assists. This year, the Eagles are 38-2 and the No. 1 seed for this weekend's 3A state tournament in Emporia with White sitting at 953 assists for the season.

That's 4,056 career assists for White, who is a two-time All-3A state tournament pick and was first-team All-3A last year after being second-team as a sophomore. …

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