Tahoma’s Hudson Taylor selects Univ. of DC for NCAA lacrosse

COVINGTON, Wash. – Tahoma High School senior Hudson Taylor has signed a National Letter of Intent to play NCAA lacrosse at the University of the District of Columbia.

tahoma_taylor_hudson_nli

Tahoma High School senior Hudson Taylor signs a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play NCAA lacrosse at the Univ. of the District of Columbia. (Photo: Taylor family)

Taylor, who lives in neighboring Maple Valley, formally committed on Wednesday to the historic land-grant school in the nation’s capital with an undergraduate enrollment of just over 2,000.

“It’s really an honor to play for UDC and coach Scott Urick. He’s an experienced coach that I can learn from,” said Taylor who last spring helped guide Tahoma to a first-place regular-season lacrosse finish in Washington state’s Division I SPSL/Narrows Conference with a 13-5 record.

Behind his state-ranked 71 points (59g, 22a), the 5-11, 175-pound crafty All-Conference attackman powered the Bears into last spring’s state tournament where they missed advancing to the state title game by a single goal after falling to Washington state Division I runner-up Issaquah High School in the semifinals.

Taylor was discovered by UDC while playing in a series of East Coast tournaments this past summer including the MVP3 HS Exposure Tournament in Newark, Delaware, Boys Philly Showcase in Philadelphia, and the Ultimate Lacrosse Summer Shootout and Clinic in Annapolis, Maryland.

With high-level prep play and out-of-state competition behind him, the 2014 Bears MVP and state goals leader put his thirst for lacrosse and solid “B” average to the test, ultimately convincing Urick that he was the right fit for the former collegiate All-American’s attack.

But it was a strong foundation learned as a freshman under long-time Tahoma coach and Washington state hall of famer Vern Smith along with fine-tuning by current coach Brian Johnson and a superior fitness level built as a cross country runner that would put Taylor at the head of Urick’s list.

And his state athletics pedigree could ultimately help him compete for a starting spot on a Firebirds squad that finished 3-8 last spring in its first year of Div. II NCAA play in the highly competitive East Coast Conference.

“Hopefully I can help on offense and will have a chance to play right away,” Taylor said with a nod to the steep learning curve he’s expecting from preps to the NCAA.

“It’s a completely different level. In high school I’ve played against some good players. But at the NCAA level I’m going to have to get used to the speed. The game is a lot faster,” he said. “Everyone is good.”

It’s Taylor’s business-like approach to the game that his coach expects will carry the prolific scorer far.

tahoma_taylor_hudson_14

Tahoma’s Hudson Taylor (left) takes on a Mercer Island defender in the Bears first game of the 2014 Washington state prep lacrosse season. (Photo: Tahoma High School lacrosse)

“Hudson is extremely consistent with his work ethic and overall mental approach to lacrosse. When he’s on the field he’s always ready to play. He checks in like he’s going to work,” said Johnson, who has worked with Taylor for the past two seasons after inheriting him and the team from Smith.

“My freshman year (coach Smith) took me on varsity and helped me get more experience,” Taylor said. “ He helped me become a quicker and more athletic player.”

With that foundation, Taylor built on a 30-point (22g, 8a) freshman season to score 57 (38g, 19a) as a sophomore and as a junior rank fourth in state with 71 points (59g, 22a).

He was just 16 points shy of last year’s state points leader and Washington state prep All American Michael Lucchesi of Auburn Riverside who is playing NCAA lacrosse at Tampa this year.

Close enough that Johnson expects Taylor will easily move into contention for this spring’s state scoring title and a shot at a state championship.

“He’s a natural. The consummate team player that does whatever we ask of him within our offensive framework,” said Johnson who runs the highly structured 20-package with Taylor quarterbacking the attack.

“Everyone has to roll in our game. If one person is not on board it doesn’t work,” said Johnson who as a Tahoma student-athlete in 2002 held on to the Bears’ single-season scoring record of 71 points for more than a decade until Taylor matched it last spring.

As Taylor prepares for his senior season on the lacrosse field he’s just focused on helping his team get better and to still be playing on the last day of the season.

“Right now I just want to help my team score,” Taylor said. “And win a state championship.”

About Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse has over 100 years of history in Washington state with clubs playing in the early 1900s and high schools now in their fourth decade of state competition.  With Native American origins, lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports on the continent and today is considered the fastest growing sport in America.  In Washington state, some 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools play prep lacrosse, while another 6,000 play lacrosse at the youth, adult and collegiate club levels throughout the state. For more information on high school lacrosse in Washington state visit http://www.WashingtonHSLAX.com.

www.WashingtonHSLAX.com

~ Mike McQuaid, Sports Information Director, US Lacrosse – Washington State Chapter

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
%d bloggers like this: