CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s a hot June afternoon. Former Green Hope quarterback Willie Taylor is putting in the time to get better.
Taylor played for the Charlotte 49ers last year but recently decided to transfer.
“I felt like I couldn’t achieve the goals and the dreams that I had set for myself there, so I felt like my football career needed to go down a different avenue,” Taylor said.
It’s an avenue many players have taken. Taylor will move half a world away, football-wise, and suit up at Hutchinson Community College. The school is a junior college powerhouse in Kansas.
“I am going to get a fresh start and that’s really what I’m looking for,” Taylor explained. “It’s going to be difficult getting away from my family and being 26 hours across the country. But, I think the payoff for me getting a fresh start is going to be very big for me and change my life around really.”
For two years at Green Hope, Taylor got to work with longtime former Apex head coach Bob Wolfe.
Five years after retiring and getting away from the game, Wolfe was reeled back in to help mentor Taylor.
Falcons head coach David Green was giving Wolfe the hard sell.
“I think he knew well enough that, if I got in there and saw what I was going to have to work with, that I would have to say yes,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe and Taylor built quite the relationship. It’s one that continues to this day. Taylor knew he was in good hands just by the reaction he got when others heard the veteran coach was working with him.
“‘Coach Bob Wolfe is coaching you! Yeah, that’s my guy,'” Taylor recalled hearing. “So, having someone with the wisdom that coach Wolfe has, being there for me and supporting me and making me better throughout my career, has really been someone I’ve been able to lean on.”
That includes now. Wolfe is excited for Taylor and feels all he needs is an opportunity.
“I think it’s important that he will work at it,” Wolfe said. “If you’ve got a player that works at it and wants to be better, they’ll always have a shot to do that.”
And, for his part, Taylor has a message for those who are grappling with the same questions he faced.
“Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams,” Taylor said. “I feel like I’m a testament of it. I’m moving 1,200 miles away and I don’t regret it at all.”
Sometimes the journey takes you far from home.
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