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The Lake News Online
  • Miriam Taylor: All-American Scholar

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  • Miriam Taylor has been graduated from Camdenton for going on two months now.
    But the accolades keep rolling in.
    The NSCAA released its winter/spring list for its All-American Scholar teams. Taylor was one of 19 student-athletes who have been named to the 2013 NSCAA Winter/Spring High School Scholar All-America Teams.
    When she was first told, Taylor was in shock.
    "This whole season has just been one thing on top of another," Taylor said. "I didn't even know that was an award until Hunter told me at the All-State banquet. He said "Hey, you might be an All-American", and I thought 'what does that even mean?'. It's a great honor, though."
    To be named an NSCAA Scholar All-American, a high school student must reach an equivalent of a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. In addition to their performance in the classroom, these players were also recognized among the best players for the 2013 season in their respective states.
    "Thousands of players are nominated for it by their coaches," Coach J.D. Hunter said. "It's a three-headed process. You get Miriam's community service, her GPA, her class-rank, and being first team All-State...it really opened the door for her. She just covered all of the bases."
    According to NSCAA, Taylor's GPA came in at a 4.30. Combining that with her outstanding 46-goal-season, all of her post-season honors, and her work in the community, and Miriam proved to be too much for the NSCAA to pass up.
    Taylor's work off the field just adds to the story. In eighth grade, Miriam became passionately involved with helping those who are less fortunate. She began her humanitarian work then and there, raising money by selling t-shirts on behalf of Invisible Children, an organization whose main focus is to bring awareness to the Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa.
    "I found out about it, and just got hooked," Taylor said. "It changed my whole perspective of how lucky we are to have what we have, while others don't. I like to help people that don't have the things and opportunities that I do."
    Since then, Taylor has raised over 2,000 dollars and traveled across the U.S. She has even gone out of the country, visiting Jamaica, Mexico, and Honduras to name a few. Her goal for after college is to work for a non-profit organization and continue helping others.
    Taylor's work on the soccer field has been nothing short of stellar. Coach Hunter has always been impressed with her work ethic and determination, with Taylor often being the first on the field.
    A perfect example of this was shown on one occasion this past season, when the Lady Lakers played Moberly.
    "We were trailing 3-2 through the entire second half, and Miriam had the chance to tie it up on a pretty routine goal for her. She missed it," Coach Hunter said. "I immediately was thinking that I needed to take her out and calm her down. So I say 'Miriam', and she looks over at me and says 'I'm fine, I've got this.' And she scores three minutes later to tie it up."
    Page 2 of 2 - Taylor began playing soccer at the age of nine, though it was on-and-off. She didn't even plan to play soccer her freshman year, but her mother convinced her to do so, which now, Taylor can only be thankful for, as her efforts on the field will lead her to playing soccer for Lewis and Clark next fall at the college level.
    Over her career, Taylor has scored twenty or more goals in each of her four high school seasons. She took it to the next level in her senior year, blazing past defenders to finish the season with an eye-popping 46 goals. The Lady Lakers scored 123 goals, and Miriam had a hand in 69 of those scores.
    When asked about how she is able to be so productive on the field, has always given credit to her team and coaches, saying she has never scored without a pass.
    Taylor's amazing high school career came to an end this spring with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Jefferson City in the district championship.
    Besides being team captain, she was voted Co-Offensive Player of the Year on the Class 3 All-Central Region team and also earned Class 3 First-Team All-State honors. She even claimed a spot on the Academic All-State roster.
    "She is across the board one of the most talented individuals at anything that I have ever been around," Coach Hunter said. "She's an old soul, and a well-rounded person who happens to be really good at soccer. But I think she'll be good at anything she does, because she just doesn't accept anything less."
    List
    Boys
    Name High School City, State Pos. GPA
    Harrison Butker The Westminster Schools Atlanta D 3.75
    Noah Eldridge Liberty Frisco, Texas D 3.98
    Jackson Lehnhart Juneau-Douglas Juneau, Alaska M 3.95
    Donald Nopper First Colonial Virginia Beach, Va. M 3.99
    Ralph Polson III Spartanburg Spartanburg, S.C. M 4.16
    Benjamin Powell Wasatch Heber City, Utah F 4.00
    Girls
    Name High School City, State Pos. GPA
    Ashley Alexander Dutchtown Geismar, La. F 4.68
    Rachele Armand Waubonsie Valley Aurora, Ill. D 3.93
    Brittany Basinger Woodgrove Purcellville, Va. M 3.85
    Meagan Crooks Spring Hill Spring Hill, Kan. D 4.00
    Ashley Finke Charlotte Latin School Charlotte, N.C. F 4.59
    Alexandra Fraser Forest Hills Northern Grand Rapids, Mich. M 4.26
    Rachel Garcia Greater Atlanta Christian School Norcross, Ga. F 4.33
    Caroline Goodner Episcopal Baton Rouge, La. D 4.30
    Abigail Koenigs Brandeis San Antonio, Texas M 3.93
    Hannah Pyle St. Thomas Aquinas Overland Park, Kan. F 4.48
    Addison Steiner Shawnee Mission East Prairie Village, Kan. F 4.11
    Miriam Taylor Camdenton Camdenton, Mo. F 4.30
    Julianna Tucker Swansboro Swansboro, N.C. D 4.66
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