The Chipley Tiger football team is aiming to do something no other Tigers team has done: and that's bring home a State Championship. Led by a core group of seniors, the Tigers will play for that title on Friday in Orlando, and one of those seniors is Taylor Smelcer.
To get to the State Championship game, the Tigers won on the road not once, not twice but three times. For senior Offensive Lineman Taylor Smelcer, who has spent four years playing football for the Tigers, remembering a time where a State Championship was just a dream, isn't too far away.
"We turned it around- from when we were freshmen, we were 0-10, and Coach Armstrong came in and did a good job, turned us around, and we just jumped on board with his program and did what we were supposed to do," says Taylor.
Doing what he's supposed to do is a common theme for the Offensive Lineman, who is also one of the captains for the Tigers this season.
"He doesn't have a lot to say, but when he does say something in that locker room, everybody listens," says Chipley Head Coach Rob Armstrong. "Just a winner, a super kid, the kind of kid you want your kids to grow up and be like."
Taylor sets a good example not just on the field- as he juggles football with baseball, and also in the classroom- where he carries a 4.2 GPA. Taylor's stellar performance on the gridiron has also gotten the attention of college coaches, but he says his grades, are just as important.
"I do what I'm supposed to do at school, when I get home, I try to get on top of my homework, and while I'm at practice, I do what I'm supposed to do," says Taylor. "I've had several coaches come in, and look at me, and the first thing they want to see is my grades, and my transcript."
"If they don't snatch him up they should fire them," says Coach Armstrong. "I've been doing this 20 years, and played it longer then that, and he's as good as I've ever coached. Great student, great kid, and I'm just blessed to have coached him the last three years."
Coaching him the last three years, and if the Tigers execute like they have the past three games, coaching Taylor to a State Championship.
Friday night's State Championship game kicks off at 7:00/EST at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and Taylor says he plans to play football in college, and while he hasn't made a decision on where he'll go just yet- he's got quite a few offers on the table.