PREP SPOTLIGHT: Tyre Taft
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Rose forward Tyre Taft had his soccer career at J.H. Rose come to an end Tuesday night after a 1-0 loss to Chapel Hill in the second round of the state playoffs. Taft finished with 17 goals, two assists and 36 points over 39 games played. Taft was a captain and leader of the Rampants on their way to an 18-5-1 season, earning them a No. 8 seed in postseason play. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Taft about his career and his favorite memories as a Rampant.
Q: How did you get started in soccer?
A: “I started around sixth grade. My friends were playing at C.M. Eppes Middle School and I thought I’d give it a shot.”
Q: What drew you to the sport besides your friends?
A: “I’ve always enjoyed running long distances. I saw that soccer had some of that in the game. Sports like baseball just weren’t my thing, so the running was a big part.”
Q: What are your thoughts about how your senior season played out?
A: “It was an amazing season. We had some really good leadership with the five seniors, and everyone was really committed to the team. We didn’t do to well last season. Our captains were committed to the team. This year, Coach (Sam) Lee pushed us to be the best we could be on and off the field.”
Q: Now that your Rose career is done, how do you feel about your time as a part of the program?
A: “Lee was an amazing coach. He really pushed us. It was great to see the growth of the program. Coach Lee told us we have a lot more money now because there are so many parents and other people getting involved. It’s become a sport a lot of people in the school like.”
Q: What was your favorite memory of the team?
A: “It has to be beating Conley twice this season. I think coach told us it had never been done before, so that was a great moment.
Q: What about a favorite goal?
A: “It was a goal we scored against South Central at their place. I scored off of a volley and put it in the net, so I think that was my favorite.”
Q: What advice would you give to younger players who want to succeed?
A: “I’d tell them to just pour their hearts out. You need to show up to practice with a smile on your face, and be prepared to get better every day. I suppose the way to word it is to be committed and to stay focused on your goals, whether that is a conference title, state playoffs, whatever it is, just stay focused.
Contact Jake Keator at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.