Senior Spotlight: Priceville’s Taylor Dean
With the cancellation of the spring sports season, the Enquirer is spotlighting senior athletes from its coverage area with Q-and-A stories. We’ll look to touch base with many more seniors over the next few weeks.
Taylor Dean has spent most of her life being on or around the softball field. She took her first swing in a game at the age of four.
Dean was the only senior on this year’s Lady Bulldog softball team. She has been part of the program going back to her freshman season.
She and her teammates were working towards their goal of making it to the State Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs were 7-3-1 and 2-0 in area play when their season ended.
The AHSAA moved to cancel the spring sports season on March 27th after Governor Kay Ivey announced on March 26th that schools would be canceled for the remainder of the school year.
The Enquirer spoke with Dean about her softball career and the disappointment she has experienced due to the cancellation of her season.
Q: When did you get started playing softball?
A: After a year of t-ball at the age of 4 and a year of baseball at the age of 5, I started playing the game of softball at the age of 6. After that, I was hooked on the game of softball.
Q: When did you know you wanted to play for the Lady Bulldogs?
A: I knew that I wanted to play for Priceville at a young age. Starting towards the end of 10U, my coaches began preparing my teammates and I for the next level after PCRA. We began training and practicing to be a part of the PHS softball team. Our drive went on to be fueled when one of Priceville’s very own, Danielle Richard, went on to play in college for the University of Alabama.
Q: What was it like waiting for your moment to come?
A: As I grew older, I began to realize that my moment was indeed coming at some point or another. I just kept asking myself, “What do I want my moment to look like?” I knew that I wanted to have a successful season for not only myself but for the Priceville softball program. So as the seasons passed by, it was amazing to work alongside my teammates to better ourselves and the future of our program.
Q: How did your thoughts change from when the season was postponed to when you got the news that your season had come to a close, long before you had planned?
A: When Governor Ivey made the call to cancel school and athletics for the remainder of the year, I honestly have never experienced such a mix of emotions. I went on an emotional roller coaster from periodically being sad, confused, numb, and even a little angry. I cried, I yelled, and I asked “why?” because within a blink of an eye that special milestone that I had been eagerly expecting was taken away.
Q: What are your thoughts now that you have had some time to think about the loss of your season?
A: Now that I have had a few days to wrap my mind around the situation, I am choosing to be grateful for every opportunity that I had to play the sport I loved. I am choosing to be grateful for my teammates and my coaches who made going to practice one of the many highlights of my day.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: After graduation, I plan on attending Troy University to pursue a degree in nursing.
Q: What do you wish to say to your teammates?
A: To my teammates and any other athlete that might be reading this, I implore you to play every game like it could be your last and I hope you embrace every moment because you never know what the future holds. So although COVID-19 took away my last opportunity to play on the field, it did not and cannot take away my passion, love, and respect for the game. I will forever be a Lady Bulldog!